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Detective work: Let's uncover the facts hidden in the DWP's latest attempt to dazzle us all with statistics.

Detective work: Let’s uncover the facts hidden in the DWP’s latest attempt to dazzle us all with statistics.

According to the DWP, and dutifully repeated by the BBC, more than 3,000 people who were subjected to the government’s benefit cap have now found work.

But have they?

This statistic – and the basis on which it is worked out – seems very suspicious to us here at Vox Political. That is why this site is appealing for anyone whose benefit cap has been removed because of it to contact us with their story.

Here’s what the DWP is saying: “Over 8,000 households who had their benefits capped have since found jobs, reduced their benefit claim, or had another change of circumstance – with 40 per cent of these finding work.”

Lord Fraud – sorry, Freud… although it seems likely that he is living up to his nickname in this case – said: “It is encouraging to see that people who have been subject to the cap are moving into work, so soon after national implementation was complete.

“Our reforms are creating an alternative to life on benefits and already we are seeing an increasing number of people changing their circumstances so they are no longer subject to the cap.”

Changing their circumstances, are they? An alternative to life on benefits – or just an alternative life on benefits?

Does anybody else recall another situation in which people were advised to change their circumstances to avoid the effect of a government benefit change?

Here’s a clue: “Jobseekers on the Work Programme are being encouraged to declare that they are self-employed – when they aren’t – in order to get more money in tax credits than they would on Jobseekers’ Allowance.”

That’s right – this site reported, almost exactly a year ago (February 4, 2013), a BBC 5 Live investigation that interviewed people who “admitted they had been told to claim tax credits as self-employed people, even when they had no feasible job ideas or could not possibly turn a profit. They said they thought it was fraud.”

Let’s look at today’s figures on the Benefit Cap. The report suggests that 3,250 households were no longer subject to the cap – the magic 40 per cent who found work – because they had “an open tax credit claim”.

It would be wrong to suggest that every single one of these households had been urged to pretend self-employment, in order to avoid the cap – and thereby make it seem that the government was getting people into work, just as with the jobseekers last year. Some of them may have started their own business and some may have started working for other people.

But did they really all manage this feat, when there are five jobseekers for every available job?

It isn’t logical, is it?

That’s why Vox Political wants to hear from you if you were told to say you were self-employed, even though you didn’t have a job, in order to evade the Benefit Cap. You won’t be identified in any future article; the aim is to establish what is really going on.

It seems likely that the DWP is committing more benefit fraud than the rest of the country combined.

Vox Political deplores benefit fraud –
especially if it is committed by the government!
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