HC Deb 02 April 2003 vol 402 cc727-8W
Mr. Willetts

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many suspected cases of(a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit fraud there were in the financial year 2001–02; how many of these led to a prosecution; and how many of these prosecutions were successful. [88203]

Malcolm Wicks

The information is in the table.

Fraud investigations conducted by local authorities (LAs) 2001–02
Cases referred to the LA fraud/investigation section for further action 380,000
Cases referred to the LA fraud/investigation section for further action that were investigated 310,000
Cases referred by LAs for prosecution 2,800
Successful prosecutions1 1,700
1 Data from local authority subsidy returns has been used to provide a count of successful local authority prosecutions. This data is returned by all local authorities and is audited. Subsidy data may differ from management information data at local authority level; however, analysis shows a high level of consistency between the two data sources at national level.


1. The data refers to households, which may be a single person or a couple.

2. Management information data is not available for all local authorities. The figures include estimates for local authorities that have not responded. These estimates are based on historical and regional data. This type of estimate is standard practice in reporting totals where there have been non-respondents. The figures have been rounded to 2 significant figures.


Housing Benefit Management Information System Quarterly Administration Returns and local authority subsidy returns