To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff are employed by his Department to investigate tax credit fraud (a) in total and (b) per 100,000 recipients of tax credits; and what his latest estimate is of the total level of tax credit fraud.
The total number of staff employed by Inland Revenue to look at claimant error in tax credits is around 1,350. The number of families in receipt of tax credits in December 2004 was 5.04 million, which equates to approximately 27 members of staff per 100,000 families in receipt of tax credits.
Inland Revenue are currently reviewing a random sample of finalised 2003–04 awards to monitor the level of claimant error. However the Department will only be in a position to give an indication of the level of error later in 2005–06 once awards are finalised for the whole tax credit population and the exercise is completed.