More than half of UK fraud occurs in the public sector

FRAUD in the public sector costs the UK £21bn a year, official data revealed yesterday.

The government sector accounts for 55 per cent of all fraud, the National Fraud Authority (NFA) said.

“That’s the equivalent of employing over 615,000 nurses,” said cabinet office minister Francis Maude. “Ripping off the taxpayer will not be tolerated.”

“There are few incentives to prevent fraud in the public sector and too many opportunities for preferment that could never be detected,” added Philip Booth of the Institute for Economic Affairs.

Private businesses accounted for £12bn in fraud, individuals £4bn, and for the first time charities were included – revealing £1.3bn of fraud in the charity sector.