Treasury Questions

At Treasury Questions on 28 June 2022, I asked the Chancellor about the work of agencies investigating fraud during the pandemic. 

I asked: “£11.8 billion was lost in fraud during the fraud. There is a plethora of organisations – the National Investigation Service, the Insolvency Service – I know that the Chancellor is keeping tabs on public money. But could he publish a dashboard of the recovery of public money in real time?”

The Government lost vast sums of public money to fraud through the schemes established during the pandemic. This included £5.3 billion in the furlough scheme, £4.9 billion in the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and £493 million in the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The National Investigation Service only received sufficient funding to investigate 100 cases of Bounce Back Loan fraud per year, and the proposed Public Sector Fraud Office has not set out any targets for how much money it will aim to recover. 

Recovery and enforcement efforts have been split between numerous agencies, with varied responsibilities. The Government must put in place a plan to restore the billions of pounds lost to criminals, and the public have a right to be informed about the Government’s progress.