Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Government sets new fraud and error target to save £1.3bn [July 2023]

The press release issued by the Department for Work and Pensions on 6 July 2023.

Target follows Government’s Fraud Plan which sets out bold new measures to fight fraud against the welfare state.

  • DWP sets ambitious new target to increase the savings achieved by its counter fraud and error resource.
  • This will save more of taxpayers’ money, delivering on the government’s economic priorities to reduce debt and support our public services

The Government has today [Thursday 6 July] set a new target to save at least £1.3 billion in 2023-24 through its dedicated counter fraud and error resource.

This would be a considerable increase on the £1.1billion savings achieved last year, cracking down further on those exploiting the benefits system and stealing from those who most need help.

The details are outlined in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)’s Annual Report and Accounts (ARA), published today.

This is in addition to the latest national statistics that show the rate of overpayments due to fraud and error has fallen by 10% over the last year, as we are determined to go further to eliminate fraud from the system.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride MP, said:

Our tightened fraud controls and checks resulted in a significant reduction in fraud and error in the last year and now we are seeing the tide start to turn.

Given that our welfare system exists to provide a strong financial safety net for the most vulnerable, it is imperative we continue to prevent anyone abusing this for their own profit, which is why we’re setting a new target to save £1.3bn in the next year and root out fraud wherever we find it.

Minister responsible for tackling fraud, Tom Pursglove MP, said:

Our teams are working flat out to prevent new fraudulent claims and expose people who have been exploiting the system – with strong results.

But we know we need to go even further, because the fraud landscape is changing, with the tactics used by criminals evolving quickly.

Working towards our ambitious new target over the next year will protect taxpayers’ hard-earned cash and enable us to deliver on the Prime Minister’s priorities to reduce debt and grow the economy.

DWP teams tackling fraud include the Counter-Fraud and Compliance Directorate, which focuses on rooting out fraud and error at all levels, including serious organised crime, and investigates bogus benefit claims.

In addition, the newly developed Targeted Case Reviews team will review millions of Universal Credit claims over the next five years – preventing customers from falling further into debt, identifying changes which result in an underpayment, and fast-tracking suspected cases of fraud for investigation.

This team is also providing intelligence on new and emerging ways to identify and prevent fraud and error entering the welfare system so the Department can further strengthen its defences.