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Tighter checks reduce welfare payouts

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08:47 CET+01:00
Welfare payouts have dropped considerable following tighter checks of parents who say they are staying home to care for their sick children, Göteborgs-Posten reports. Over the last six months, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency has paid out 74 million kronor less than in the previous half year period.

Last year an extra 300 supervisors were employed to see if the welfare system in general was being abused, with a particular focus on benefits for the care of sick children.

In the first half of the 2007, some 3,126 people were suspected of cheating and reported to the police. This represented a fourfold increase on figures for 2006.

In August and September, parents applied for compensation for a combined total of 472,000 days dedicated to the care of sick children. This was the lowest level since 2001.

But with the agency continuing to discover many cases of cheating, analysts were not quite ready to conclude that their campaign was having a preventive effect.

"Since the number of errors doesn't seem to be dropping, I would not like to draw that conclusion," agency analyst Niklas Löfgren told Göteborgs-Posten.

"It could just be that children have been unusually healthy so far this year."

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