Published: July 27, 2012
Benefit fraud checks begin on tax payers in Burnham-On-Sea area

Residents in the Burnham-On-Sea area have this week been warned to ensure they are not incorrectly claiming council tax benefits as a clampdown on fraud begins.

Across Sedgemoor, there are approximately 16,000 single people who claim a discount on their council tax bills - and Sedgemoor District Council is about to begin checks on whether they are all eligible.

All councils in Somerset are to run checks to make sure that people claiming a single person’s discount on their council tax bill are claiming legitimately.

"Sedgemoor District Council will be checking by cross-referencing with other sources of information about their household by using sophisticated data matching technology. The methods used will not infringe on any data protection issues," a council spokeswoman told

"Currently, a 25% discount, ranging from a minimum of £194.43 a year and up to a maximum of £747.35, is given to anyone who claims to be living in a property on their own. If the checks indicate that another adult is living at the address, the discount will be withdrawn."

"Residents who are genuinely claiming the discount have nothing to worry about, but anyone found to be deliberately misleading the council could face a fine and legal action."

The National Fraud Authority estimates fraudulent single person discounts cost councils and taxpayers across the UK a total of £92m a year.

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