Govt saves £300m in taxpayers’ money in 2 years preventing fraud and error

The government’s National Fraud Initiative (NFI) has saved over £300m in taxpayers’ money over the last two years, by detecting and preventing fraud and error in the public sector.

Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith said the NFI has identified £144.8m of pension fraud – an increase from £85.1m in 2014/15 and overpayments, £32.6m of fraudulent, or wrongly received, council tax single person discount and £24.9m of housing benefit fraud and overpayment.

Concerning the rise of pension fraud, the NFI’s latest document said “this can be attributed to an increase in the numbers of deceased person cases identified as well as work with large public sector pension schemes to improve the frequency and quality of outcomes reporting”.

“The ratio of actual overpayments to estimated savings from preventing overpayments has changed since 2014/15, with actual overpayments £4m lower than the previous exercise and future losses prevented up by £89m.”

The NFI compares sets of data, such as the payroll of a company with benefit records, allowing fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.

Between April 2016 and March 2018, the NFI worked with over 1,200 public and private sector organisations, preventing and/or detecting over £300m fraud and error nationally, of which £275.3m has been in England alone.

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