More statistics, more scare-mongering

The Daily Telegraph  reports that “Fraudulent and wrong benefit claims hit £3.5bn record”.  There are two obvious points to make about that claim.  The first is that this figure is based on a combination of fraud and error, and the largest part of the figure is error.  The estimate for fraud is £1.2 billion out of £3.4 billion.  The second point is that this is a very long way from being a ‘record’, if by that they mean a new high; the 1997 Green Paper on fraud put the figure (ludicrously) over £7 billion.

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