Rogue traders demanded subsidized meals that were never served under the Eat Out to Help Out program and vacation pay for non-existent staff. Labor spokesman Justin Madders has called for a crackdown
Pandemic looters have scammed £12billion of taxpayers – but no one has been held accountable.
Rogue traders demanded subsidized meals that were never served under the Eat Out to Help Out program and vacation pay for non-existent staff.
Labour’s corporate spokesman Justin Madders said: “It’s hard to believe that with the billions spent and the many stories of wasted money no charges have been brought.
“The government needs to up their game and crack down on scammers.”
Mr Madders spoke after John Glen, Treasury Secretary for Business, told him in a written reply: “There have been no prosecutions to date.
“HMRC carried out a series of checks on claims before they were paid and therefore blocked those that indicated criminal activity.
“The Government and HMRC have always known they could be attractive to scammers and are taking tough action.
“Anyone who continues to give money knowing they are not entitled to it faces double the amount plus interest and possible criminal prosecution.”
Mr Glen said HMRC has been awarded £100million to tackle fraud in Eat Out to Help Out, Holidays and the Self-Employment Support Scheme and there are 21 ongoing investigations.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak was famously serving meals when he launched Eat Out to Help Out in August 2020.
Pizza chain Papa John’s is investigating claims that £250,000 was wrongly claimed by a franchise owner.
Others have been held over the Bounce Back Loan scheme, with three being questioned in Birmingham over a £145,000 payout.
The Commons Library estimated £11.8 billion was lost to fraud and bugs in business support schemes.
In January, Finance Secretary Lord Agnew resigned, squashing “pathetic” anti-fraud efforts after the government wrote off £4.3billion of fraudulent Covid loans.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/crackdown-calls-firms-12billion-lost-27148720 'Crackdown' urges businesses as £12billion lost to Covid fraud - but no one stood trial