Benefit fraud will be boosted by new law, say researchers

Social security fraud will become more attractive if a new law is passed, according to Henk van Deún, chairman of the national organisation for benefit investigators in Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

Deún has written to caretaker junior social affairs minister Paul de Krom pointing out that his plans to raise the limit above which fraudsters are prosecuted from €10,000 to €50,000 will not be a deterrent.
The minister’s plans mean fewer fraudsters will end up in court, although they will face higher fines. They will not only have to pay back the full amount of fraudulent claims but also a fine of the same amount.
Deún says prosecuting fewer people will make fraud more attractive and that few culprits can pay off the original amount, let alone an additional fine.
In a reaction to the letter, De Krom said prosecution can hamper the unemployed in finding a job. ‘In most cases a fine is the quickest and most effective way of dealing with fraudsters,’ he writes.

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