JOBCENTRE Plus is putting fraud at the heart of the Government’s welfare reform programme.
It’s happening in Birkenhead. Local residents inform me that they have been victims of a company that was able to advertise a number of “fake” jobs on the Government’s Universal Jobmatch service.
The individual alleged to be running this racket staged what turned out to be sham job interviews – believe it or not – at Birkenhead Jobcentre Plus office.
Jobseekers also handed over their bank details and National Insurance numbers to the individual as part of what they thought to be the standard recruitment process.
I have called on Merseyside Police to investigate these allegations.
Alarmingly, these cases may just be the tip of the iceberg. Recent estimates suggest up to 11,000 bogus jobs are advertised on Universal Jobmatch.
The Government must now cleanse the Jobcentre’s files immediately and look at how many fraudulent operators may have infiltrated the service, how many people have been affected and how much they may have lost as a result of this activity.
I have also written to Merseyside Police and the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee in the House of Commons asking for an urgent inquiry into this racket.
Might I ask please that if you have been affected by this, or know someone who has, that you write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, so I can submit your letter as evidence?