HC Deb 30 July 1982 vol 28 cc851-2W
Sir Brandon Rhys Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish figures for each year since 1979 showing (a) expenditure by his Department on fraud investigations, (b) the number of his staff engaged in fraud investigations, (c) the number of prosecutions and (d) the amounts of public money fraudulently obtained.

Mr. Rossi

Available figures are as follows:

Year Estimated total cost (£ million) Estimated number of officers employed Number of prosecutions
(a) (b) (c)
1979–80 * * 26,199
1980–81 33 2,300 30,166
1981–82 33.4 2,250 ‡—
* Comparable figures are not available for 1979–80.
† The prosecution figures shown include cases prosecuted by the Police, Post Office and some by Department of Employment.
‡ Not yet available.

As regards item (d) we do not know the total amounts of public funds illegally obtained by claimants but in 1979–80 and 1980–81 we wrote off £4.8 million and £4.9 million respectively as irrecoverable from the people who had fraudently claimed benefit. The figures for 1981–82 are not yet available.