A ‘gift’ to scammers: the real cost of substantial fraud

With “Partygate” still dominating the headlines, it’s going to be a rough start to the work week for Boris Johnson. However, the prime minister’s day on Monday was even worse when his anti-fraud minister resigned over the government’s decision to write off £4.3 billion in fraudulent Covid loans.

At the dispatch box at the House of Lords yesterday, Theodore Agnew “held a dramatic public resignation”, Guardians speak. Lord Agnew, who has served as Finance Secretary and Cabinet Office, said his decision was not an attack on the Prime Minister, but it would see Johnson “battle the anger of the Party”. Conservatism on another front,” the newspaper added.

Reading his resignation speech in response to a question from the Labor newspaper, Agnew accused the government of making a “student error” by lending loans to more than 1,000 non-business companies during the pandemic, BBC reported.

“Given that I am the anti-fraud minister, it would be a bit dishonest to continue in that role if I am not capable of doing it right,” he added.

‘Huge salary relief’

When Rishi Sunak first published details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Plan in March 2020, he stated that Britain was facing a “generation defining moment” and that “measures unprecedented” to protect the future of businesses and workers.

Described as a “huge paycheck relief” by Time, the furlough scheme sees the government pay 80 per cent of people’s wages, up to £2,500 a month, if they are placed on leave as a result of the pandemic. VAT payments are also deferred and non-work allowances increased.

To help employers retain employees during the pandemic, the furlough plan goes into effect on April 20, 2020. After 529 days, including the pause, the plan is official. has come to an end on September 30 of last year.

Since its launch, 11.6 million jobs have been supported by the program and Bloomberg reported in October that the UK was spending £69 billion paying high-wage workers. “That’s a lot of money,” BBC “About a fifth of what the government has spent on the Covid response,” said.

The tip of the iceberg, the tip of the iceberg?

In August 2020, a study by academics at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Zurich revealed “Widely abused” plan. Surveys of nearly 9,000 disadvantaged workers show that 63% – or about six million people nationwide – continue to work, averaging 15 hours of illegal labor a week.

HMRC has said “from the start” that the entrepreneurship program, the Self-Employment Income Support Program (SEISS) and eating out to help would be “scam targets”, FT reported. And it emerged in November that the £5.2 billion the government paid “finally fell into the hands of fraudsters or was paid by mistake”, Guardians speak.

The Treasury revealed that it expects its anti-fraud task force to erase £4.3 billion in Covid-19 payments lost to fraud during the pandemic, Yahoo! Finance reported. A total of £5.8 billion is said to have been “illegally taken away” and “only £1 for every £4 stolen by fraudsters” will be recovered.

Agnew criticized the Treasury for appearing to have “no knowledge or little interest” in the consequences of fraud. The warning signs “have been seen for a long time”, Guardians said, and that “weak oversight” of the UK’s Covid loan schemes was “a gift to scammers”.

Gareth Davies, head of the UK’s National Audit Office, believes that the fraud that has been identified may be just the tip of the iceberg. “The real extent of the fraud will become more apparent over time,” he said.

https://www.theweek.co.uk/business/economy/955528/a-gift-for-scammers-the-true-cost-of-furlough-fraud A ‘gift’ to scammers: the real cost of substantial fraud

Fry Electronics Team

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