Covid loan fraud and error will cost UK taxpayers tens of billions, say MPs

Cross-party group says prioritising speed and relaxing controls meant increased exposure to potential abuses

Taxpayers will lose tens of billions of pounds to Covid-19 support schemes because the government dropped basic fraud checks and rolled out the programmes in haste, a parliamentary report has claimed.

The report, published by the public accounts committee (PAC), acknowledged that the government acted quickly to provide vital support to vulnerable businesses at the start of the pandemic. However, the decision to prioritise speed and financial aid meant taxpayer exposure to fraud and error was “significantly increased”.

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