Skip to main content

Benefits (Abuse)

Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update the report on the cost of employing special investigators given to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 21 May 1981,Official Report, c. 164-65.

The cost of salaries and necessary incidental expenses of the total force of special investigators in the 1981–82 year is estimated to have been £6·6 million. In the latter half of the year some 25 per cent. of special investigators were diverted from special investigation work to specialist claims control.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update the information concerning abuse of social security benefits given to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 21 May 1981,Official Report, c. 163-64.

Total

Fraud on the part of the claimant or other person not being a servant of the department

£

£

Family benefit986,544125,058
Unemployment benefit4,873,729434,155
Sickness and invalidity benefit3,197,015465,081
Maternity benefit100,0816,295
Widows benefit348,528118,657
Retirement pension1,193,06673,830
Industrial injury benefits236,32116,895
Others271,77817,090
Supplementary benefit13,587,9383,626,485
War pensions107,75735,497
Total24,902,7574,919,043

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update the information on social security investigations given to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 21 May 1981,Official Report, c. 164-65.

:The information is as follows:

1981–821980–81
(a)Public authority expenditure on social security payments£m 27,375
(b)Total amount of irrecoverable overpayments£m 43.3(provisional)£m 24·9*
(c)The amount of known overpayment through fraudNot avail able see Note 2
(d)The number of prosecutions for suspected fraud (see Note 3)19,575
(e)Number of successful prosecutions (see Note 3)19,112
(f)(e)as a percentage of(d)98%
(g)Number of DHSS special investigators in post (see Note 4)572
(h)The estimated gross savings made as a result of special investigation work (see Note 5)£m 49
(i)The estimated cost of special investigators (see Note 6)£m 6·6
(j) (i)as a percentage of(h)(see Note 4)13·5%
*Not available at the time of previous question

Note 1. (a)and (6) refer to financial years. The other items are years ending February. Prosecution figures for 1981–82 are for the period February 1981 to February 1982.

Note 2. The amounts involved in fraud cases are not recorded. The full amount obtained by fraud in some individual cases may not be known.

Note 3. Figures include DHSS and DE prosecutions, but exclude prosecutions by the Police and Post Office.

Note 4. The figure refers to staff in post in April 1981. In the latter half of 1981–82 some 25 per cent. of Special Investigators were diverted from special investigation work to Specialist Claims Control.

Note 5. The figure relates to savings achieved from special investigation work.

Note 6. Estimate based on the cost of salaries, national insurance contributions and necessary incidental expenses.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update the information given to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on fraudulent claims on 21 May 1981,Official Report, c. 162-66.

Year ended

Prosecution

Convictions

17 February 198130,11629,437
16 February 198225,65424,772