Tony McNulty, Benefit Cheat

26 March 2009

Exhibit A: From the Daily Mail, November 8th 2008. Man caught in £30,000 benefit fraud:

After the case, employment and welfare reform minister Tony McNulty said: "Lying to the DWP to get money you aren’t entitled to is a crime. Expecting to get away with it is criminally stupid. This man thought he could live a life of Riley at the taxpayers’ expense. He was wrong. Our investigators caught up with him and now he’ll face the penalty for his crimes."

Exhibit B: On December 4th 2008 the BBC reveals how councils are using "voice recognition lie detectors" to crack down on benefit fraud:

DWP Minister of State Tony McNulty said: "We’re doing more than ever before to tackle benefit fraud, and the use of more sophisticated technology, such as voice recognition, just goes to show how determined we are to catch these criminals…

The use of voice recognition is not meant to intimidate people. Its sole purpose is to catch people stealing money that could otherwise be used for schools and hospitals. So far, since April, we’ve sanctioned more than 2,000 people in Wales for benefit fraud. The message is clear – we’re closing in on benefit cheats, and we will continue to do so."

Exhibit C: 14th January 2009, The Derby Evening Telegraph reported on the case of a woman convicted of a £38,000 benefit fraud:

Tony McNulty, DWP Anti-Fraud Minister, said: "DWP, working in partnership with local authorities, is taking action against more benefit thieves than ever before. n 2006-07, in partnership with local authorities we imposed over 51,000 prosecutions and sanctions, more than ever before and a fourfold increase since 1998. Those committing benefit theft don’t just face the possibility of a criminal record and a jail sentence. Their crime can impact on future employment, insurance and credit applications too. It really isn’t worth the risk."

Claim your gift

Exhibit D: March 2009, Tony McNulty, Anti-Fraud Minister at the Department of Work and Pensions, who lives in Hammersmith, West London (three miles from parliament) is revealed to have claimed £60,000 of expenses for a "second home" in his constituency of Harrow. That’s Harrow, a full 11 miles from Westminster and half a dozen miles from his "main" residence. For a second home which is actually inhabited by his parents. Mr McNulty admits that this may seem "a bit odd" but not to worry since "everyone does it". This, he admits, is not much better than the "Nuremberg defense".

"Everyone is at it" is not much of a defence is it even if it is, for once, also true? McNulty’s scam may not, strictly speaking, be illegal but ethically it seems little better than those perpetrated by the fraudsters and benefit "cheats" he so enjoys locking up. Worth remembering next time some pious scold at Westminster tells the rest of us to pack away our cynicism and think better of our elected representatives.

PS: The DWP wants to remind you that "the National Benefit Fraud Hotline number is 0800 854 440. Lines are open between 7am and 11pm seven days a week or you can report a thief online via:"


Give the perfect gift this Christmas. Buy a subscription for a friend for just £75 and you’ll receive a free gift too. Buy now.

Show comments
  • Harrow Blogger

    Tony McNulty must repay the full £60,000 and not simply the £13,000 recommended by the Public Committee on Standards. Remember that one has to earn at least £100,000 before tax to take home £60,000 – this means Tony McNulty actually stole £100,000, not £60,000. He must quit his post as MP for Harrow East (where he’s done little good and keeps sending these stupid leaflets about how he will continue to improve the Borough – more like how he will continue to milk the system). What does Tony McNulty take us for? We are NOT going to let him carry on as an MP for Harrow East! And by the way, I hope Scotland Yard takes this case seriously now that the Committee on Standards has ruled against Tony McNulty! No more milking the system Tony – just repay the full £60,000 + interest at the court’s judgment rate and then get a civilian job and we’ll see how long you last in the private sector!

  • JohnAnt

    Verity – that’s most unfair. This hairstyle was the dernier cri in Liverpool in about 1970.
    Alex is obviously just trying to be – what’s the phrase – ‘with it’.

  • Verity

    Yes, Alex is usually too boring to stick with for a whole post, but it could have something to do with his hair. He is much too old for such a silly hairstyle.

  • gary

    The Voice Risk Analysis software has proved to be as reliable as tossing a coin in deciding who is a high or low risk case. If only they’d used it on MP’s expenses claims ………and payments to family members…….and getting donations in from foreign businessmen……or giving honours for cash…..or spotting WMD……the uses are endless, all across the House.

  • Frank

    The 2006 FRAUD ACT
    2 Fraud by false representation (1) A person is in breach of this section if he—
    (a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and
    (b) intends, by making the representation—
    (i) to make a gain for himself or another, or
    (ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss

  • THX1138

    I rang the number and reported him, great fun.

  • Ronnie

    Another nail in Labour’s electoral coffin, both the fraud itself and the pary-in- government to take any action.

  • Paul B

    The phrase,”Hoist by your own petard” springs to mind.Nice one Alex.

    Richard seems to be damning you with fient praise.

  • John Page

    And a recent piece in a Northampton newspaper described him as Anti-Fraud Minister.


  • Richard

    Nice one…… I think you’re really boring normally, but that’s quite funny.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here