Daily Archives: October 26, 2010

Jim Pickard

This news is conveniently timed given that the coalition are cracking down on the bulging budget for housing benefit. How ironic then that it is being delivered by the doomed Audit Commission, which is being axed by Eric Pickles within months.

According to the commission, councils detected £135m worth of fraud last year involving 119,000 individual cases. The bulk – almost £100m – involved housing benefit fraud. Another £15m of council tax fraud was found along with people fraudulently claiming personal budgets for social care. (This is where people are given money directly to buy the care they need, rather than social services directly providing it.) Read more

Jim Pickard

The prize for most curious story of the day has to go to the news that a North Sea gas field could be closed – because of EU sanctions on Iran.

The gas field of Rhum, 200 miles off the coast of Scotland, is jointly owned by BP and an Iranian state-owned oil company. (This was news to FT Westminster). It could be the casualty of new sanctions by EU foreign ministers against Iran’s energy sector imposed in an attempt to bring the republic back to the negotiating table over its uranium enrichment activities. Read more