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Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Tuesday, 10 August 2010 08:43 UK

'Transforming the landscape of our welfare state'

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David Cameron is to announce a crackdown on benefit fraud which could see greater use of credit ratings agencies to help identify wrong claims.

Speaking on the Today programme, Employment Minister Chris Grayling downplayed "bounty hunter" press commentary, arguing the policy would simply be a case of "payment by results".

"Government should pay outside organisations when they get the job done and not simply for being there," he said.

But Max Wind-Cowie, of the think tank Demos, suggested that "there is a real danger of counting our chickens before they're hatched".

While every government promises to crack down on benefit fraud and error, he says, the fact that more than £5bn is lost "is a testament to how complicated this really is".

Mr Wind-Cowie argued that benefits needed to be bigger in value but much harder to claim, a point that Chris Grayling in part agreed with:

"In some cases it does seem too easy to access some of the benefits that are available," he said.


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