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Benefit fraud on the wane

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The amount of money lost by the Government through benefit fraud and error declined in 2004-05, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

The total loss due to fraud and error at the Department for Work & Pensions was £2.6bn during the year, although in each of the previous three years about £3bn has been lost.

Sir John Bourn, the auditor general, said that the situation had “improved” and that “things were moving in the right direction”.

“If that’s an improvement, then god help us,” said City analyst Colin Perry. “Any private company losing that amount of money in a year would be swarming with the Fraud Squad and immediately shut down.”


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