Cabinet Office written question – answered on 8th March 2023.

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Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an estimate with Cabinet colleagues of the total cost to the public purse of (a) fraud and (b) waste arising from (i) benefit fraud, (ii) contracts signed during the covid-19 pandemic and (iii) tax evasion in each of the last three years.

Photo of Jeremy Quin Jeremy Quin The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

The Public Sector Fraud Authority (PSFA), established in August 2022, works with government departments and public bodies to understand and reduce the impact of fraud and error against the public sector. In line with the PSFA Mandate public bodies are required to report identified fraud and error loss figures to the PSFA. This is to aid transparency and fill the gaps in reporting. For this reason, the PSFA does not collect data on tax and welfare fraud and error losses, as these are published directly by HMRC and DWP respectively within their annual report and accounts process.

Fraud measurement work in Covid-19 spending is ongoing and as such the PSFA does not currently have sufficient information to estimate levels of fraud and error across government Covid-19 contracts. The PSFA publication reporting fraud and error losses incurred by Government in 21/22, will be published in due course.

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