CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

SOCIAL SECURITY – FRAUD & CRONYISM – 6 July 1998

Dr Julian Lewis: What incentives she is giving local authorities to decrease the number of cases in which those committing housing benefit fraud are not prosecuted?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] The Minister was recently reported as having told the Child Poverty Action Group that it is not true that most benefit fraud is accidental. He will be aware of the Public Accounts Committee's criticism that only one case of detected fraud in every 100 proceeds to prosecution. Will he explain what further measures might raise the prosecution rate? Will he confirm that any steps that are to be taken will be revealed first to the House, and not, like the Child Support Agency proposals, to the press – let alone to the dreadful Derek Draper to enable him to stuff his bank account with another £250 an hour?