System loopholes or by intention ?

Incorrect welfare payments in Sweden total billions, group finds

Incorrect welfare payments in Sweden total billions, group finds

The local website said that Up to 8.7 billion kronor too much is paid out on welfare annually by the Swedish state, according to a government focus group.

National responsibility must be taken over the issue, says the head of the focus group, which has studied payments made by the welfare system.

The focus group, which was appointed by the Ministry of Finance, was assigned to analyze 13 different welfare systems in the country. It is chaired by Sven-Erik Österberg, county governor in Stockholm and a former junior finance minister with the Social Democratic party.

The aim of the ministry-appointed group is to help reduce errors and misuse within the welfare systems by finding ways to ensure payments are correct and go only to those they are intended for. 

According to an article written by Österberg for Dagens Nyheter’s comment page, 4.7 percent of welfare payments are incorrect and young Swedes are more relaxed about breaking rules than older elements of the population.
“We estimate that around 75 percent of errors are caused by the applicants. These errors primarily consist of incorrect information provided at the time of application, or are due to changed circumstances which have not been reported,” he wrote.

The focus group has concluded that in contrast to taxation, where audits are made to in an effort to prevent fraud, there is a lack of clear control or collective accounting with regard to welfare crimes.
“Our conclusion is that a mechanism needs to be established that will provide an overall national responsibility for the work to counteract incorrect payments,” Österberg wrote.

It is worthy mentioning that the local did report more than a year ago, quoting a report, that 900 million kronor paid out in error to ’vabbing’ parents.

As much as 15 percent – or 900 million kronor – of benefits paid to parents staying at home from work to look after their sick children last year (2017) was paid out in error, according to the report.

Sweden’s generous welfare politics include paying out up to 80 percent of a salary to mums and dads who stay at home to care for their children if they are ill. It is called ‘VAB’, which stands for ‘vård av barn’ (care of children), and famously even exists as a verb, ‘to vabba’.

But according to a spot-check investigation by the Social Insurance Agency last year – the agency in charge of managing VAB payouts – almost 900 million kronor was paid out to parents in error.

This includes everything from parents who intentionally cheat the system by for example claiming benefits for staying at home from work with their sick child while cashing in on their usual salary at the same time (it’s supposed to be one or the other), to parents who did not understand the rules.

“It could be everything from a few minutes of working hours, such as not knowing how long your lunch break is, to very much conscious mistakes such as asking for VAB and going to work, which is fraud,” Alexandra Wallin, head of the Social Insurance Agency’s family section, told then to newswire TT.

But the number of suspected instances of fraud is also growing. The agency reported 1,054 cases of parents wrongfully claiming VAB payouts to the police in 2016 compared to just 138 in 2012.

The agency claimed back more than 86 million kronor from parents in 2016, up from 7 million in 2012.

A big part of the increase is however due to the agency stepping up its own work to track down and crack down on suspected wrongful VAB payouts, using both systematic controls and randomized checks.

هل تريد الحكومة وقف انشاء مدارس دينية جديدة ؟ السابق

هل تريد الحكومة وقف انشاء مدارس دينية جديدة ؟

معلومات غريبة عن البرلمانيين السويديين التالي

معلومات غريبة عن البرلمانيين السويديين

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