Coronavirus: Government Assistance

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd December 2021.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the prospect of recovering money claimed fraudulently from the (1) Coronavirus Job Retention scheme, (2) Self Employment Income Support scheme, and (3) Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

HMRC are taking a proportionate approach to recovering overclaimed grants, rather than actively seeking out claimants who have made small mistakes.

In the year 2020-21, HMRC recovered around £500 million. This is in addition to losses of circa £200 million being prevented by not paying out on suspicious claims. In addition, claimants made repayments of around £350 million in 2020-21 to correct claims they had got wrong.

The Government has invested over £100 million in a Taxpayer Protection Taskforce made up of 1,265 HMRC staff to combat fraud in the schemes. The taskforce is forecast to recover a further £1 billion from the schemes in the two years until 31 March 2023.

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