HC Deb 11 May 1971 vol 817 cc75-6W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give further details showing, in cases which are not sub judice, where alleged fraud by Ford workers over social security benefits is being considered, and the total amounts of such alleged frauds; and to what extent he estimates the costs of prosecutions being considered will cover the returns of illegal benefits drawn.

Sir K. Joseph

Nineteen cases of alleged fraud by Ford workers over social security benefit are under consideration. The total amount obtained by alleged fraud in all these cases was about£280. Criminal proceedings are a separate issue from the recovery of benefit overpaid. Any comparison of the cost of prosecution with the amount of benefit recoverable is irrelevant because it ignores the element of deliberate abuse implied in the charges and the deterrent effect of prosecutions, if successful.