Responding to the report, Cllr David Sparks, Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“Local authorities work hard to clamp down hard on unscrupulous fraudsters who cheat the tax payer and take money that could be spent on the genuinely vulnerable.
“Benefits are there to help the needy – not line the pockets of the greedy.
“Thanks to the hard work of councils, the £135 million recovered last year can now be spent supporting those in genuine need, housing the homeless, caring for the elderly and supporting the infirm.
“The success of these councils demonstrates the importance of them being equipped with the necessary powers to identify and catch those trying to steal from the public purse.
“Local authorities adopt a zero tolerance approach to this sort of abuse. At a time when councils will be struggling to find money to balance their budgets next year, local authorities will come down hard on those trying to steal money intended for the sick and the elderly.
“The message from councils to fraudsters is clear – try to con the system and you will end up in court.”
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