gjhfgjhhRuffley calls summit meeting with St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bury retailers

Friday, 12 January, 2007

David Ruffley MP has today written to the Leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Councillor John Griffiths, calling a summit meeting with the Council and Bury St Edmunds retailers to discuss their concerns about trade in the town.

David met with some of Bury St Edmunds' successful independent retailers and traders on Wednesday 20 December and, after hearing their concerns, felt a high level meeting was necessary to establish a clear line of communication between the Borough Council and Bury's retailers.

gjhfgjhhEvening Standard - Young on benefits soars by half in only five years

Friday, 12 January, 2007

A FIFTY per cent rise in the number of unemployed teenagers in London is revealed today.

The increase in welfare dependency over five years brought calls for a rethink of Gordon Brown's flagship policies to get young Britons into work.

Despite much-trumpeted falls in the national jobless total, the number of young people on benefits through unemployment or disability is soaring.

The rise seems to contradict indicators that show the economy is booming and the health of the workforce is better than ever.

According to the government figures:

gjhfgjhhRuffley alarmed by rise in Suffolk school truancy

Monday, 15 January, 2007

David Ruffley MP has expressed his concern at new Government figures, released last week by the Department for Education and Skills, which show that the number of unauthorised absences from Suffolk secondary and middle schools has increased from 1.29 percent of half days missed in 2004/05 to 1.37 percent in 2005/06.

But across England as a whole the number of unauthorised absences from secondary schools FELL from 1.23 percent of half days missed in 2004/05 to 1.22 percent in 2005/06.

gjhfgjhhFinancial Times - Benefit overpayments under Labour nearing Pounds 2.5bn

Thursday, 20 April, 2006

Benefit overpayments had reached almost Pounds 2.5bn during Labour's time in power, and an overcomplicated system had led to "shocking" levels of error, the Conservatives said yesterday.

The Department for Work and Pensions revealed in answers to parliamentary questions from David Ruffley, the Conservative spokesman for welfare reform, that overpayment of income support caused by officials' errors had reached Pounds 1.17bn since 1997 and pension credit overpayment Pounds 540m.

gjhfgjhhThe Sun - 2bn aid is blown

Thursday, 20 April, 2006

Benefit overpayments equivalent to £104 for EVERY household have been made since Labour came to power.

Bungling penpushers have wasted £2.5billion of taxpayers' cash since 1997 - £1.17billion of it on incorrect Income Support payments, figures show.

Tory MP David Ruffley, who uncovered the figures, said: 'Gordon Brown's fiddling with the system and ministers' incompetent running of it is causing chaos.'

The Department for Work and Pensions will not ask for overpayments back, it said last night.

gjhfgjhhThe Daily Telegraph - Labour has paid out pounds 2 bn benefits in error

Thursday, 20 April, 2006

THE unemployed and people on low incomes have received more than pounds 2 billion in overpaid benefits since Labour came to power.

The Government yesterday blamed "official error''. The Tories described the total as "shocking''.

Ministers said there was nothing they could do to recoup the cash other than ask people to repay it voluntarily.

The figures were compiled from answers to parliamentary questions tabled by David Ruffley, the Conservative spokesman for welfare reform.

gjhfgjhhThe Daily Express - How benefit blunders leave the taxpayers with an extra £2bn bill

Thursday, 20 April, 2006

Benefit payment blunders have cost taxpayers more than £2billion under Labour, it was revealed last night.

The astronomical sum has been overpaid to hundreds of thousands of welfare claimants- many of them workshy scroungers- thanks to a catalogue of errors by Whitehall penpushers.

Officials at the Department for Work and Pensions admitted to the daily Express: 'It's our mistake- and we can't get the money back.'

gjhfgjhhThe Daily Telegraph- 'Begging letters' ask pensioners to send money back

Friday, 17 March, 2006

TENS of thousands of elderly people who received overpayments of pension credit due to Government blunders are to receive a "begging letter'' from ministers asking if they would mind sending the money back voluntarily.

In a partial climbdown, ministers announced that they would be requesting - rather than ordering - repayment from those who benefited through no fault of their own from last year's pounds 130 million pension credit overpayment.

gjhfgjhhDaily Mail - Labours' 'sham' on benefits

Friday, 30 June, 2006

LABOUR'S vow to move one million people off Incapacity Benefit within ten years is a sham, say Tories.

The Government said welfare reforms would slash the number of claimants from 2.7million today to 1.7million by 2016.

But ministers were accused yesterday of fiddling the figures after it emerged there will be 350 , 000 fewer claimants by then even if nothing is done.

That means Labour will have to move only 650,000 off the benefit to hit the target.

gjhfgjhhIndependent on Sunday - Benefit claimants may have to face lie detector

Sunday, 28 May, 2006

Suspected benefit fraudsters will facelie-detector tests in a Whitehall initiative designed to catch out cheats claiming cash they are not entitled to.

The Government is preparing to test hi-tech voice analysis developed by the security industry in Israel and the United States, to catch out claimants who are not telling the truth.