Fraudulent claims – billions may be written off

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has insisted he will continue to go after Covid-19 fraudulent claims despite reports that the Government intends to write off £4.3billion in mistaken payments and illegal claims.

In 2021, in an attempt to recoup the £5.8billion believed to have been fraudulently claimed, HMRC set up a dedicated taskforce, with almost 1300 personnel.

However, reports claim that it now expects to only recover £1 for every £4 lost to fraudulent claims and payments sent in error for Bounce Back Loans, Furlough payments, Self-Employment Income Support Schemes and the Eat Out to Help Out programme.

In November 2021, the Government admitted that although it was close to hitting its target for investigations, it was unlikely the £5.8billion would be recovered in full.