§ Mr. Pond
[holding answer 15 September 2004]The information is not currently available. The Department is currently developing a methodology that will enable us to produce robust estimates of the value of fraud and error detected.
However, the latest report on estimated Fraud and Error in Housing Benefit, April 2002 to September 2003, was published on 12 August. The findings about the overall levels of housing benefit (HB) fraud and error, in 2002–03, are that around £550 million (5.0 per cent.) of HB expenditure within the scope of the Housing Benefit Review (HBR) sample is estimated to have been overpaid due to fraud or error; and a further £150 million is estimated, via the use of a rough extrapolation, to have been overpaid in HB expenditure outside the scope the HBR sampling.
Copies of the report are available in the Library.