Billions of taxpayers’ cash paid through business schemes ‘lost to fraud’

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The Commons Public Accounts Committee says not enough was done by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy to prevent this.

While the department estimated £4.9billion will be lost to ineligible firms, the true figure will be gradually revealed.

The department also gave out £21.8billion of grants through local councils but “lacks info” on the recipients – and is predicting a deficit above £1billion from less than half the total of grants.

Committee chair Dame Meg Hillier said officials “offered an open goal to fraudsters.”

The Government says it is continuing to crack down on Covid fraud.

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