A TREASURY minister quit his post live in the House of Lords yesterday — as he raged at ministers’ woeful efforts to tackle Covid loan fraud.
Lord Agnew, the minister for counter fraud, threw in the towel at the despatch box, saying income tax could be cut by a penny if ministers got to grips with finding the £4.3billion of loan cash which was lost to criminals and fraudsters.
He accused the Government of making “schoolboy errors” and claimed he had been arguing with Treasury and Business officials for two years to get them to “lift their game”.
The Tory peer raged: “There is a penny of income tax waiting to be claimed here if we just woke up.
“Total fraud loss across Government is estimated at £29billion a year.
“Of course, not all can be stopped but a combination of arrogance, indolence and ignorance freezes the Government machine.”
Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said it was a “damning indictment of the Government’s failures on fraud”.