Why hasn’t the present government done this
BBC News – Labour’s Rachel Reeves to set out plan to recover Covid fraud billionshttps://t.co/TuDemVqJfP
— Graham Ramsey (@grahamramsey238) October 9, 2023
Small businesses who were struggling through Covid were encouraged to take out a Covid loan on very good terms with virtually no underwriting.
I am sure that most of these loans (including the one AgeWage took out) are being serviced properly. But the public perception is that many of the loans went straight into the back pocket of fraudsters who benefited from a lack of underwriting and have been able to fold their businesses and keep the cash.
It’s a winning policy for an incoming Chancellor to dig around for money that can and should be recovered. Delinquent loans are theft from the Exchequer and there is a great deal of disquiet among the working population that their peers have ripped them off.
I remember walking round a golf course car-park with a friend pointing to cars and vans that had been bought with Covid loans. My friend was incandescent that some owners had already given up on their payments.
The matter is even more sensitive because the pain of Covid is still with many families. That people were seen to exploit the illness is an affront. Reeves’ statement to the BBC shows she is in touch with the national mood
Ms Reeves will tell the conference in Liverpool that just 2% of fraudulent Covid grants – “with every one of those cheques signed by Rishi Sunak as chancellor” – have been recouped.
She will promise to appoint a Covid corruption commissioner with full powers to take cases to court and “claw back every penny of taxpayers money that they can”.
“That money belongs in our NHS, it belongs in our schools, it belongs in our police – we want that money back,”
She sounds rather more in touch than her counterpart in parliament. We are left to draw the conclusion that the fraudulent grants and loans are an embarrassment to Rishi sunak who granted them.
They aren’t, they are an embarrassment to the nation and Reeves is right to ask for our money back.