Reviews carried out by Capita Local Public Services in 2015 into the number of people claiming Single Person Discounts (SPD) on their Council Tax released approximately £4.5million in additional revenue across 19 councils.
Capita found that on average around 6 per cent of SPD claims were fraudulent or ineligible – meaning that residents had not informed their council of a change in their circumstances.
Cases identified as potentially fraudulent were followed up with correspondence to people, asking them to verify their status. The details of those found to be ineligible were provided to local authorities and the discounts removed.
We initially carried out a pilot in one ward to get a sense of scale around incorrect SPD claims. The success of the pilot led to a full borough review and resulted in around £1.25m of revenue being released.
Councillor Tim Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, Westminster City Council.
Our SPD service is fully managed by a dedicated team – councils still make the decision about entitlements, but we do the leg work for them. We are also supporting customers’ digital initiatives by introducing a service which allows residents to verify their details online.
Mark Chapman, Business Services Director, Capita Local Public Services