PAC says £2.6bn in benefits money wasted

The powerful all party Public Accounts Committee said a simplification of the
benefits system could prevent errors and fraud and save an estimated £2.6bn each
year, the BBC online reported.

Among other things it called on the Department for Work and Pensions to make
more use of ‘plain English’.

It also said staff should be given more than the six-and-a-half days of
training they currently undertake and that ‘unintelligible’ letters and leaflets
should be replaced with clearer explanations.

Committee chairman Edward Leigh said he acknowledged that a benefit system
needed to be complex to deal with people in varying circumstances, but said the
current system was ‘increasingly arcane, unwieldy and baffling to both benefit
staff and customers’.

‘Simplification is not an easy option. Any significant reform is likely to
involve a trade-off with fairness and, as a result, the creation of “losers”.

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