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Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department spent advertising the Government’s crackdown on benefit cheats (a) in total and (b) in airline magazines in 2009. (291275)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: In 2008-09, the total advertising expenditure for the ‘We’re Closing In’ Targeting Benefit Thieves campaign was £4,967,098.

Between August and October 2009, the total expenditure on ‘abroad fraud’ communications in airline magazines was £50,604.

The £5 million invested in the campaign represents less than 0.004 per cent. of the benefit bill. We cannot determine exactly how much fraud has been prevented as a direct result of the campaign. However, it is worth noting that in 2000-01, before we ran fraud campaigns, the proportion of money lost to benefit fraud was 2 per cent. The most recent figures for 2008-09 show that it is now 0.6 per cent.