Rees-Mogg: Govt save £3.4bn in crackdown on fraudulent benefit claims and PPE contracts

29 March 2022, 16:38 | Updated: 29 March 2022, 18:05

Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed the Government saved £3.4billion in 2020/21
Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed the Government saved £3.4billion in 2020/21. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Jacob Rees-Mogg has revealed the Government saved £3.4billion through Whitehall cost-cutting, including £138million cracking down on fraudulent PPE contracts.

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Other savings in 2020/21 included £10m taking disability badges that were forged, stolen or belonged to deceased people off the street.

The Government also uncovered £25m of pension claims made on behalf of dead people and £21m of illegal council tax discount claims.

£14m of prevented fraudulent bounceback loans were also discovered, as were £1.7m of people using concessionary travel without qualifying.

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The Cabinet Office said better use of data and improved digital expertise were "key drivers" behind the savings.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke said the savings show the Government "can get better results from the money we spend", but "we know we need to go further".

"The Chancellor's new cabinet-level efficiency and value for money committee will leave no stone unturned as we investigate all government spending to make sure we are getting the most for the taxpayer," he added.

Jolyon Maugham on evidence PPE deals were awarded to Cabinet contacts

Minister for government efficiency Mr Rees-Mogg called for the Civil Service to accelerate the efficiency drive.

He said: "Taxpayers have the right to expect every penny of their money to be justified before it's spent.

"These figures show quality need not be sacrificed to achieve better value for money, and I want to accelerate the progress made.

"We are ensuring the Civil Service is delivering the Government's top priorities while ensuring the best possible value for taxpayers."