The Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the following announcements on fraud prevention in his Spring Statement on 23 March 2022, including the creation of a new Public Sector Fraud Authority. The government is budgeting £48.8 million of funding over three years.

Under the Debt management and Public Spending summary in the Spring Statement, the government announced more vigorous measures to reduce public spending fraud and loss to HMRC. It is not mentioned HM Treasury's Debt management report: 2022-23.  

The new Public Sector Fraud Authority will:

  • Have an additional £48.8 million of funding over three years to support its creation.
  • Enhance counter-fraud work across the British Business Bank and the National Intelligence Service.
  • The objective is to step up the detection of fraud to the public purse and "will recover millions of
    pounds".

The government has also announced:

  • The government is investing £161 million over the next five years to increase compliance and debt management capacity in HMRC. This investment is forecast to bring in more than £3 billion of additional tax revenues over the next five years, by funding additional HMRC staff to provide greater support to taxpayers seeking to pay off accrued tax debts and to tackle the most complex tax risks, ensuring large and mid-sized businesses pay the tax they owe.
    • A further £12 million is being invested in HMRC to help prevent error and fraud in tax credits, and "support a smooth transition to Universal Credit". Primarily it will be spent on helping " ...claimants keep their tax credits claims accurate through regular health-check calls, compliance activity, and the use of SMS nudges".
  • There is no change to the investment in compliance within the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP). It remains at the December 2021 announcement of an additional £510 million to increase DWP’s capacity and capability to prevent and detect fraud and error, and collect more debt. This is forecast to deliver savings of £3.15 billion by 2026-27.
  • Is publishing guidance for a new series of Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs) reviews. These reviews will scrutinise the work and effectiveness of ALBs, aiming to deliver savings of at least 5% of their resource from Departmental Capital Budgets (DEL) budgets to be reinvested into frontline priorities.
  • Will increase scrutiny to confirm that the NHS efficiency commitment will double from 1.1% to 2.2% a year. 
  • Will launch a new Innovation Challenge across central government departments to crowdsource ideas for how government can operate more efficiently.

Useful guides on this topic

Spring Statement 2022: Live Highlights
At a glance guide to new measures announced during the Spring Statement.

A tax inspector calls...
This section looks at policy on tax strategies/avoidance and tax investigation news, including serious fraud and disclosure facilities. From time to time we comment on any other topcial HMRC activity.

External links

HM Treasury, Spring Statement 2022

 


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