Poll: Should the DWP be able to monitor benefit claimants' bank accounts?

Take our poll below and let us know what you think
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In May, a trial of new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) plans to monitor bank accounts has revealed tens of thousands of benefit claimants breaching the rules.

The DWP enlisted two high street banks to test the measures for their feasibility. An anonymous bank identified 713,000 accounts held by individuals receiving Universal Credit, Pension Credit, or ESA (Employment and Support Allowance).

Over a three-month period, it discovered that 60,000 accounts had too much money in them for the individuals to be entitled to benefits. In another 3,000 accounts, there was evidence of 'abroad fraud' where the account-holder was either living overseas while claiming UK benefits or going on holiday for longer than is permitted under DWP travel rules.

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Recent DWP figures reveal that errors made by Pension Credit claimants - such as providing inaccurate or incomplete information or failing to report a change in their circumstances - have increased from £160million to a record high of £210million.

Additionally, DWP administrative errors accounted for another £100million of overpayments, an increase from the £60million figure in 2022-2023. Most of these were due to staff making mistakes when assessing an individual's income from personal or workplace pensions.

We want to know what you think. Should the DWP be able to monitor benefit claimants' bank accounts?

You can have your say in our poll below. Can't see the poll? Click here.