£20.6 bn of fraud losses to the government – and that’s before the tax gap

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The BBC has reported on the government's new accounts (which I have yet to look at in detail) and noted that:

The committee said the amount of money written off due to fraud, error and unrecoverable debts as well as pending legal proceedings against taxpayers - which totalled an estimated £13.2bn - was "worryingly high".

The figures do not include local government or public corporations, and the National Fraud Authority estimates the true cost of fraud to the public sector was £20.6bn.

That's of concern, although some such loss is inevitable in a budget of the size of the government's.

What worries me more is that the figure excludes the tax gap, which HM Revenue & Customs says is £35 billion and which I say may be at least £95 billion.

Why is that? Is it deliberate?

If so, why?

It's long seemed as if it's policy to downplay this issue. It looks as though that policy is at work here.