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Cardiff Politics South Wales

Tens of thousands relating to council tax fraud could be recovered by anti-fraud team

TENS of thousands of pounds relating to council tax fraud has been identified for recovery according to Cardiff Council’s latest anti-fraud report.

The report, which will be presented to the local authority’s governance and audit committee on Tuesday, October 24, shows that 46 council tax liability investigations and 36 council tax reduction investigations were concluded this year.

The investigations identified £33,985 and £24,370 to be recovered for each area respectively.

Council tax liability investigations relate to people applying for discounts or exemptions that they are not entitled to.

Council tax reduction investigations relate to applicants failing to correctly disclose information in order to receive payments that they are not entitled to.

A number of active cases relating to council tax liability are ongoing at the year-end.

Council tax reduction is classed as a local benefit. However, recipients may also be in receipt of a national benefit, like Universal Credit, housing benefits and pension/tax credits. In these cases, fraud referrals are sent to the DWP to investigate.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds in insurance claims due to fraud or error was also prevented.

Cardiff Council’s counter-fraud annual report shows that £310,595 was prevented from being paid out this year compared to £750,332 in 2021/22.

In the majority of cases, the prevented payments are represented by claims that were either withdrawn by claimants, or were considered as exaggerated claims which were subsequently paid at a reduced rate.

The report also shows that 75 blue badges were seized this year compared to 76 in 2021/22.

Most of these seizures were from vehicles being parked without the blue badge holder being present.

Ten of the 74 concluded blue badge investigations led to criminal convictions. Of these, seven were prosecuted and three received a simple caution.

The highest number of completed investigations this year related to tenancy fraud, including subletting and waiting list applications.

In all 114 investigations were completed for 2022/23, compared to 13 investigations which were concluded last year.

The council’s governance and audit committee will meet to discuss the report at 2pm. You can watch that meeting live at https://cardiff.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=137&MId=8201&LLL=0.