In October 2010 a joint strategy between the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs was launched to tackle fraud and error in the benefits and tax credits system.
The strategy provided for new opportunities for increased joint working between DWP and HMRC in the run up to the introduction of Universal Credit. In February 2012 this strategy was refreshed and updated through the joint report with the Cabinet Office and HMRC ‘Tackling Fraud and Error in Government: A Report of the Fraud, Error and Debt Taskforce’. This set out an ambitious programme of work to reduce financial loss due to fraud and error in the welfare system.
Part of this strategy includes changes to the existing Fraud & Error Loss of Benefit penalties. The penalties prior to April 2013 are commonly referred to as ‘One and Two strike’ cases.
The new penalties required amendments to existing primary legislation and new legislation became effective from 1 April 2013.