98% of Covid fraud tip-offs not being investigated, ministers admit

13 Dec 2023

Government ministers have admitted that 98% of Covid fraud tip-offs are not actively being investigated.

A request for data from Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry revealed that 5,124 calls were made to the government's Coronavirus fraud hotline when it was in operation between October 2020 and June 2023. Just 103 of these calls were investigated, ministers admitted. Jut

Only 20 of these were looked into by the National Investigation Service (NATIS).

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, Alex Burghart, advised that tip-offs to the Coronavirus fraud hotline were sent to the relevant departments, who ultimately made decisions on whether to investigate.  

Commenting on the issue, Darren Jones, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: 'Billions of pounds of taxpayers' money was lost to fraud and corruption during the pandemic. And yet, the Conservatives are turning a blind eye and letting those responsible off the hook.'

A spokesperson for the Treasury responded: 'We are overhauling the way we tackle public sector fraud to ensure we prevent more fraud and chase down public money stolen from taxpayers.

'Since 2021, we have invested more than £900 million in taking action on fraud, and have established the Public Sector Fraud Authority to bolster fraud defences across departments.'

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