Covid-19 Support Worth £4.5bn Lost To Error And Fraud

Covid-19 support worth £4.5bn lost to error and fraud. 

An estimated £4.5bn in Covid-19 support has been lost to error and fraud since 2020, the tax authority has revealed.

The funds were distributed through programs designed to aid businesses and households in coping with the pandemic's economic effects.

A letter to a committee of MPs charged with monitoring government spending provided specifics on the amount of money lost.

The estimate of £4.5 billion, according to the letter, excluded money that HMRC, the UK's tax agency, had recovered.

The government spent billions on a support package during the pandemic to keep the economy going when lockdown restrictions were in place.

Read also: Hajdu says Vitamin-D COVID-19 protection is “fake news”

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK's official economic forecaster, predicted last year that the total cost of pandemic-related rescue measures would be £310 billion.

Harriett Baldwin, the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, demanded that the government break down how much of that money was misappropriated or stolen.

Jim Harra, the chief executive of HMRC, responded by stating that the amount was expected to total £4.5 billion over the course of two fiscal years, 2020–21 and 2021–22.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme lost £3.5 billion, the Self Employed Income Support Scheme lost $1 billion, and the Eat Out To Help Out program lost £71 million of this total.

Mr. Harra stated in the letter that Covid support programs "aided millions of people and businesses through the pandemic."

He claimed that HMRC was "clear that the schemes would be targets for fraud and that customers operating at pace and under pressure would make mistakes" from the start of the pandemic.

Mr. Harra claimed that the schemes were created "so as to minimize fraud and error while not unnecessarily delaying payments."

While acknowledging that Covid funds were distributed quickly, Ms. Baldwin told the BBC that she expected fraudsters to face the full force of the law when they were discovered.

HMRC is currently making an effort to recoup Covid support that was lost due to fraud and error.

According to HMRC, through compliance activity, it had recovered more than £762 million by the end of March 2022.

Read also: U.S. FDA, CDC see early signs of possible Pfizer bivalent COVID shot link to stroke

In his resignation letter from the Treasury last year, Lord Agnew criticized the government's handling of the fraudulent Covid business loans.

The Liberal Democrats claim that due to the transfer of thousands of HMRC employees to work on the Covid and Brexit schemes, billions of pounds in tax have gone uncollected.

Treasury minister Victoria Atkins stated in response to parliamentary inquiries that approximately 1,250 HMRC employees were redeployed to work on Covid-19 schemes in 2021–2022.

According to her, HMRC's revenue recovered through compliance activity decreased by £6 billion in 2021–22 when compared to the prior year.

Civil servants are being shifted from one crisis to another in an ongoing game of whack-a-mole, according to Sarah Olney, a spokeswoman for the Liberal Democrats Treasury.

"Criminals are being given a pass on evading millions of pounds in taxes while hard-working families are seeing their taxes rise and public services are at breaking point because of this."

According to HMRC, its compliance work "provides good value to the taxpayer" and it moves resources "where and when they are most needed."

Post a Comment

* Please Don't Spam Here. All the Comments are Reviewed by Admin.

Top Post Ad

Below Post Ad