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Welfare Tax Credits: Overpayments

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the Treasury Minute entitled Progress in tackling benefit fraud, issued in response to the Committee of Public Accounts' Thirty-first Report of Session 2007-08, when his Department expects to set recovery targets for benefit overpayments as a result of fraud. (253047)

We welcomed the recommendation put forward by the Public Accounts Committee and as a result undertook research to establish the best means of implementation. This work is very near to completion and there will be a recovery target in place for benefit overpayments arising as a result of fraud at the start of the next financial year.

The good news is that we have reduced fraud from around 2 per cent. of benefit expenditure in 2000-01 to 0.6 per cent. in 2007-08 and is now at its lowest level ever. I hope the hon. Gentleman welcomes that.

A recovery target for benefit overpayments arising from fraud will be in place for the next financial year.