A CRACKDOWN on Fifers fraudulently claiming money they're not entitled to has brought in an extra £855,032 to the local authority.

The move to identify people incorrectly applying for the Council Tax Single Person Discount (CTSPD) led to 8,728 customers being contacted in the summer.

Pamela Redpath, from audit and risk management services, said: "The estimated additional revenue generated for 2021/22 as a result of this exercise is £855,032.

"The service have removed discounts and rebilled customers for this amount.

"As the collection rate has not dropped, this would indicate successful recovery."

Fife Council decided to take a different approach, previously they used data matching to identify addresses where the householder is claiming the discount on the basis that they live alone yet the Electoral Register suggests that there is more than one person in the household aged 18 or over.

This time they engaged a third party, Datatank, to carry out a review using data from a credit reference agency.

Ms Redpath said the service "believes this approach is more efficient in identifying discrepancies with CTSPD".

She said: "Datatank have screened 45,006 accounts with CTSPD.

"The screened accounts are risk scored and the medium and high-risk accounts are investigated to confirm eligibility for the discount, resulting in 8,728 customers being contacted in June 2021."

Her report to the standards and audit committee also said there was an error in relation to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme that had resulted in an overpayment of £6,703.

Recovery from the claimant was "in progress".