More than £16m lost in Covid fraud and errors

Responding to comments from Auditor General Stephen Boyle to the Public Audit Committee that “somewhere between £16 million and £32 million” of the money committed to Covid business support schemes was lost to fraud and error, Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Willie Rennie said: “In the interests of shepherding Scottish businesses through the pandemic, there was an acceptance that the Scottish Government needed to get money out of the door and into bank accounts fast to prevent jobs being lost.

“Now that the economic threat has receded, we need the government to get on top of chasing down fraudsters and ensuring that any money paid out in error is recovered.

“As we come out of the pandemic, there will be a need to squeeze value for money from every penny to get the economy firing again. I would urge any business who has received money to which they are not entitled to return it now so that it can be put to use helping businesses and individuals in need of support.”

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