§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much his Department has saved through reducing social security fraud in the last year; and what are the estimates for the forthcoming year. 
§ Mr. Heald
In 1995–96 the Benefits Agency saved an estimated £715.6 million through detection and prevention of fraud against a target of £680 million. This figure excludes the estimated savings achieved through the security and control programme, which have yet to be finalised.
The target for social security fraud savings during 1996–97 is £1.5 billion. This includes savings from the merged Benefits Agency, Employment Service 501W investigation service, organised fraud investigation and security initiatives within the security and control programme.