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SALFORD IN NATIONAL FRAUD INITIATIVE
 

Star date: 20th May 2010 

SHOULD HAZEL BLEARS BE INVESTIGATED?

Today, the Audit Commission releases a report which praises the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) for helping to trace £215million in fraud, overpayments and error in 2008/09.

The biggest fraud increase, it states, was for the 25% discount claimed on council tax bills for a single person by people who weren't single.

But has the NFI missed Salford MP Hazel Blears who, in 2008/09, claimed a single person discount on her council tax, despite being married?

Full story here…


HAZEL BLEARS COUNCIL TAX HAZEL BLEARS COUNCIL TAX
click image to enlarge

The Audit Commission states today that the biggest increase in fraud detection by the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) for the year 2008/09 was in claims for single person discount (SPD), `the 25 per cent discount on council tax available to adults who do not live with another adult who counts for council tax purposes'.

The NFI helped to detect over £62m in wrongly claimed or paid discounts for 2008/09, almost five times as much as the £13m total reported in 2006/07. The report uses Salford City Council as a case study, where the Council expects to raise an extra £1million in council tax as a result of such detection.

The NFI, the report states, is "a sophisticated data matching exercise" which compares information from 1,300 organisations including local authorities, the police, the NHS and nearly 100 private companies. But has it missed Hazel Blears?

Last year the Salford Star questioned the Salford MP's claim for 25% single person discount on council tax for her second home in London for 2008/09, despite being clearly married to Michael Halsall. In the years 2006/08, and before it became public knowledge, Hazel was claiming return rail trips to London for her husband on Parliamentary expenses. There's no receipts at all in the public domain for Hazel Blears' council tax for those years so we don't know if she was claiming single person discount or not. But expense claims of £93 per month for council tax gives a similar figure to the receipted years which suggests that she was.

Hazel's lavish bedding expense claims for furnishing her second home would also seem to suggest that she wasn't living there alone.

No other married Salford MP was claiming the 25% single person discount during 2008/09. Barbara Keeley claimed a 10% `second home discount', while Ian Stewart didn't claim at all for council tax.

As far as we know, the 25% discount claim was never investigated, and no statement was ever issued by Hazel Blears justifying such a claim. Neither did anything come of the Hazel Must Go! report to Scotland Yard over unreceipted cleaning expenses claims made by Hazel Blears.

Until the authorities stop ignoring public concerns over what politicians do with the public purse, it will always seem like it's one law for us and another law for them.

'We simply can't afford to ignore losses to the public purse, especially from fraud" says Michael O'Higgins, the Chairman of the Audit Commission "Those who steal benefits, pensions, jobs and homes ought to know the NFI is on their trail, and others who fancy trying their luck should realise they will be caught."

 

Photo by Albert Spiby

 

 

 


 

ian ob wrote
at 09:28:03 on 10 April 2011
It always amazes me that the minute some broke single mother claims housing benefits and does a couple of hours cleaning on the side - usually because the government don't make it clear exactly what people are entitled to via tax credits - the working classes are up in arms and writing to that Tory rag the MEN demanding they be flogged. And yet when these scumbags, who are rich beyond the lotto winning dreams of the rest of us, steal amounts that they could as easily lose down the back of the couch from hard working tax payers, nobody says Jack. We are told that car insurance goes up because of fraudsters, food prices because of shoplifters, and yet these thieves in their Boothstown bungalows rob us blind with utter impunity. Give me a straight up benefits cheat who does it because they are poor as p*ss, over these penny pinching, pre-pay porn pilching, extra expense extracting duly elected pirates and thieves. Gteedy soulless scum every one of them!!!
 
tom wrench wrote
at 05:50:11 on 28 May 2010
I watched Hazel on the politics show tonight. She discussed current events, the state of the coalition (.sp), media stings etc. All I could think whilst watching her was hypocrite/fraudster. I dont know if she was picked to discredit labour but surely such a tainted politician should not be given such a platform - I realise labour are in transition but someone should keep hazel more low key.
 
wrote
at 12:18:33 on 20 May 2010
"We simply can't afford to ignore losses to the public purse, especially from fraud...Those who steal benefits, pensions, jobs and homes ought to know the NFI is on their trail, and others who fancy trying their luck should realise they will be caught." Unless, of course they are MPs ripping off expenses or the uber rich dodging tax. NFI=No Fucking Intelligence?
 
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