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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 179

Date:- 11 December 2004

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Benefit cheat sentenced

A BENEFIT cheat who falsely claimed almost £9,000 in benefits from Warrington Borough Council has been sentenced to a six-month rehabilitation order and ordered to pay back the overpayment.

Christine Payton, (57), of Rudloe Court, Padgate, appeared at Warrington Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 30 November after pleading guilty to six counts related to non-declaration of income and three counts related to non-declaration of non-dependants in a household.

Payton defrauded the Council of Housing Benefit and Council Tax benefit amounting to £8,799 between October 2000 and July 2003.

She was sentenced to a six-month rehabilitation order, ordered to pay £100 costs and now has to pay back the overpayment.

Adrian Webster, the Council's Benefits Manager, said:- "Benefit cheats must realise that they cannot abuse the benefit system and steal from the rest of society. They are not just defrauding government or the local authority, but their own neighbours and communities.

Fraud is a serious matter and this case is a clear demonstration of our determination to tackle benefit theft and to reduce the amount of money lost through fraud and abuse."

People around Warrington can also play their part by telling the Council about alleged fraudsters free and in confidence on the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854440.


FROM next year £2.1 billion extra will be spent on pensioners said Secretary of State, Alan Johnson as result of the increase in pensions and other benefits announced for the next financial year. At the heart of the changes is that the poorest pensioners will have
their income lifted to a minimum of £109.45 (£167.05 for couples) a week, an increase of nearly 4%.

The basic State Pension will be increased in line with the Retail Price Index and will go up to £82.05 a week for single people and £131.20 a week for couples.

Mr Johnson said:- "We will be spending over £2 billion extra next year on our pensioners. This is money that benefits everyone, providing invaluable support and additional security to people who deserve and need it most.

Our commitment to tackling pensioner poverty remains absolute. By increasing Pension Credit in line with earnings it means 600,000 fewer pensioners in poverty than uprating in line with prices."

In his statement to the House of Commons, Mr Johnson also detailed the new higher rate of the state pension for those who choose to take their State Pension later. From next April men over 65 and women over 60 will be able to defer their State Pension and get an increased weekly amount. 

Someone with a full basic state pension at the new rate of £82.05 will be able to get a weekly pension of:-

* £90.58 if they wait one year
* £99.12 if they wait two years
* £107.65 if they wait three years
* £116.18 if they wait four years
* £124.72 if they wait five years

Mr Johnson said:- "People can still get their basic state pension at 65 but if they want to keep working and take it later they can now get a better deal."


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