HC Deb 19 November 1996 vol 285 cc511-3W
Ms Mowlam

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the number of cases of benefit fraud discovered in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years, indicating the estimated cost of these cases. [3858]

New build completions by Northern Ireland Housing Executive 1986 to 1995
New built completions
1988 1,653
1989 1,577
1990 1,324
1991 961
1992 958
1993 888
1994 878
1995 1,362

Ms Mowlam

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the total amount spent on the (i) building and (ii) maintenance of publicly owned housing in each of the last 10 years(a) in real terms, (b) as a proportion of the housing budget and (c) as a proportion of the total budget for Northern Ireland. [3854]

Mr. Moss

The information is provided in the table.

Mr. Moss

Responsibility for the subject has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alec Wylie, and I have asked him to arrange for a response to be given.

Letter from Jim Fleming to Ms Marjorie Mowlam, dated 14 November 1996: As Mr. Wylie, Chief Executive of the Social Security Agency is absent at present, I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question on benefit fraud. You have asked for the number of cases of benefit fraud that have been discovered in the last ten years and also an indication of the estimated costs of these cases. The potential cost to the Exchequer if these cases had not been detected is referred to as estimated benefit savings and details are set out on the attached table for the past nine financial years. Information is not available for 1986/87. No records have been maintained on the cost of investigating each case. I hope this explains the position for you but I would be happy to provide any further information you require.

Number of benefit fraud cases detected and the estimated benefit savings
Year Number of cases of benefit fraud detected Estimated benefit savings £ million
1987–88 2,625 3.6
1988–89 2,852 3.7
1989–90 3,820 4.6
1990–91 5,897 9.46
1991–92 6,567 10.4
1992–93 6,580 10.56
1993–94 7,260 11.57
1994–95 6,990 11.61
1995–96 5,179 15.62