HC Deb 24 June 1996 vol 280 c45W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the estimated total financial loss caused by fraud within the member states of the European Union in respect of the working of the common agricultural policy. [33975]

Mr. Baldry

Neither the Commission nor the European Court of Auditors has ever placed a figure on the level of fraud within the common agricultural policy since, by definition, undetected fraud cannot be measured. Member states are, however, required to report detected CAP irregularities to the Commission. In 1995, member states reported 1,754 cases of irregularity valued at £173 million—0.6 per cent. of the CAP budget of £27.9 billion. In this context, the definition of irregularity includes all over-claims, whether simple error on the part of the claimant, negligence or fraud.