HC Deb 04 June 1992 vol 208 cc638-9W
21. Mr. Gill

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what assessment he has made of the extent of fraudulent trading within the common agricultural policy beef regime; and what has been the estimated cost to public funds.

Mr. Curry

It is not possible to estimate the extent of fraud in the common agricultural policy, since, by definition, undetected fraud cannot be measured. No separate figures are available for fraud within the beef regime; however, overall in 1990, 819 cases of irregularity (the definition of which goes wider than fraud) in EAGGF guarantee expenditure were reported by member states with a value of 138 mecu (£98 million). These cases represent about 0.5 per cent. of EAGGF guarantee expenditure in that year. However, fraud is clearly a serious problem and must be tackled vigorously.