§ Mr. Thurnham
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of the level of benefit fraud in the Bolton area; and what targets have been set for the anti-fraud team in Bolton. 
§ Mr. Heald
Reliable estimates of benefit fraud and incorrectness are derived from the benefit review programme, which is looking at all the major benefits over a five-year period. For example, it was announced in July 1995 that the benefit review of income support and unemployment benefit estimated 9.7 per cent. of claims to be fraudulent, representing an annual value of £1.4 billion. However, review results are statistically valid only on a national basis, and levels of fraud can not be derived for individual geographical areas.
In 1995–96 benefit savings from fraud investigation and initiatives under the security and control programme for the Bolton area amounted to £6,165,825.82.
Following the merger of the benefit fraud investigation teams serving Bolton and Wigan, a savings target has not been set separately for the Bolton area for 1996–97. The savings target for the area covering both the Bolton and Wigan areas for fraud investigation and initiatives under the security and control programme for 1996–97 is £9,423,363.