Trials suggest millions of pounds could be saved by using “nudge theory” about how people behave to encourage them to pay taxes and fines, officials say.
Trials organised by a special government unit suggest so-called “nudge theory” could play a “key role” in reducing fraud, error and debt.
Using simpler language in letters, highlighting key messages and stressing “social norms” have boosted compliance.
In one case, a local authority saved £240,000 on false council tax claims.
Nudge theory is seen as a way of producing positive economic and social outcomes without resorting to bans or increased regulation.
The Cabinet Office established a “behaviour insights team” after the 2010 general election and the unit has published details of some of the work it has been doing in the past eighteen months.