§ Mr. Love
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the cost to the housing benefit account of fraud in cases where more than one person has been prosecuted; what percentage that cost was of the overall loss through fraud over the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Denham
The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is set out in the table.
Great Britain 1995–96 1996–97 Number of cases where Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit fraud was established and weekly benefit savings claimed by local authorities (LAs) 160,000 190,000 Total number of cases referred for prosecution by LAs 1,700 1,400 Total number of successful prosecutions by LAs 700 600
- 1. Prior to 1995–96 data was collected on a different basis and data prior to 1994–95 is not readily available.
- 2. Data collected from local authorities does not distinguish between prosecutions involving one person and those involving more than one person.
- 3. No data is collected centrally on the amount of fraud established in cases which are prosecuted by local authorities.
Administrative Returns 1995/96 and 1996/97