Couples pretending to live separately to keep claiming benefits

Britain’s ‘crazy’ welfare system is making fully committed young couples straight into fraudsters simply because getting married or living together means they will receive a drastic cut in income, Iain Duncan Smith warns today.

So, rather than seeing their living standards fall, quite a few cohabiting couples on benefits are tricking the State by pretending to reside at different addresses.

Making the strongest defence of marriage from a senior government minister for more than a decade, he’ll launch a scathing attack on Labour for making this ‘couple penalty’ within the welfare system.

In remarks that set him drastically at odds with Deputy PM Nick Clegg, the Work and Pensions Secretary will insist the Coalition is determined to aid marriage as ‘our most basic and successful institution’.

Mr Duncan Smith, who has long championed measures to aid stable, two-parent families, will guarantee reforms to both benefits as well as tax in their favour.

Couples living together get less than they might if they claimed independently, even accounting for the savings from sharing a home.

The result is that a majority of those who are out of work or perhaps in part-time work say they would be much worse off living as a couple, with countless amounts committing fraud by pretending they live apart.

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