Just how far will that schmuck John Hutton and his posse at the DWP stoop? Well, gutter level it seems as the latest offering from John Hutton is that claimants will be subject to a lie detector test in a bid to crack down on fraud. And it gets even better because the people who will be in charge of this is ..... Crapita. Yes, the company committed to "tranforming" your services. Transforming them into what, that's the question?
But back to seeking out liars and cheaters screwing the welfare system. Hutton explains:
"This technology-based process aims to tackle these fraudsters while speeding up claims and improving customer service for the honest majority.
Our investigators are successfully using sophisticated 21st century techniques to stop criminals. The introduction of this cutting-edge technology will be another weapon in the battle against benefit fraud." Ah yes, the "honest majority"....
The Voice Risk Analysis technology picks up in the changes in the caller's voice "which can be signs of stress when telling lies",.. The person's "normal" voice is measured against these changes. Benefit advisers will be trained in using "sophisticated 21st century techniques to stop criminals". It will be tested in north London first (Harrow Council for Housing and Council Tax benefits) before being rolled out to the rest of country including Job Centre Plus. No mention of monitoring and who will monitor.
Words fail me in conveying how obscene this latest proposal from Hutton is. What also springs to mind is.... tax evasion but hey, New Labour doesn't want to upset the likes of Rupert Murdoch so instead it is easier to be gunning for the powerless and treating them all as potential criminals. It is estimated that between £700m-£900m is lost because of benefit fraud but between £97bn-£150bn is lost to tax evasion. While £7bn in benefits are unclaimed. And we know where New Labour's priorities lie.
And this method is utter fantasy as how can you really conclude that someone is "lying"as opposed to "not lying". It is subjective. This latest proposal will cause more upset, misery and distress. It is hard enough contacting a government agency but even harder when you know they are analysing your truthfulness. Yes, truthfulness and New Labour... never the twain shall meet.
And I will be interested in what the trade unions such as the PCS and Unison will make of this.....