§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what amount of money was recovered through investigations into social security fraud in the last financial year; and how many staff were employed on these duties.
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The administration of fraud work is a matter for Michael Bichard, chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Simon Hughes, dated 17 January 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the amount of money recovered through fraud investigations in the last financial year and the staff employed on these duties.
Over 3,000 staff are involved in the investigation of benefit fraud.
Estimated benefit savings, from fraud identified and stopped during 1993–94, were £654m. The value of overpaid benefit actually recouped, including fraud cases, totalled £80m. Information relating to the amount of benefit recovered directly as a result of anti-fraud work is not readily available and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
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