§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) how benefit savings are calculated in instances of fraud uncovered(a) generally by his officers and (b) by the Child Support Agency;
(2) by what multiple of the value of the order is used to calculate the benefit savings when order books are 40W withdrawn on the grounds that the claimant has committed fraud.
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
A weekly benefit saving is recorded by the Benefits Agency when as a result of action by a fraud investigator benefit is reduced or withdrawn. The value of the saving is increased in value by the use of a multiplier which is an estimate of the average time for which a fraud would have continued, had the fraud not been discovered. It is therefore a measure of the average time for which benefit payments are saved by investigation work which leads to the termination or correcting of fraudulent claims. The multiplier used for benefit frauds is 32.
Frauds uncovered by the Child Support Agency are referred to the Benefits Agency for investigation. Savings in these cases are calculated in the same way as above.
If the fraud is one which concerns the manipulation or fraudulent encashment of a stolen or lost order book, the saving will be the total value of the orders remaining in the order book when the book is recovered.