Exchequer Secretary faces Lords questions on EU fraud
The House of Lords Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection EU Sub-Committee will finally have the opportunity to quiz the Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke MP, in the latest evidence session of its inquiry into combating fraud and irregularities against the EU's finances on Wednesday 16 January.
Officials from the Treasury withdrew from an earlier evidence session, prompting the Committee Chair, Lord Boswell, to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking him to explain his department's obvious reticence in appearing before the Committee.
Mr Gauke will be joined by two officials from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs; Jonathan Athow, Director of Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence and Ian Stewart, Director of VAT.
The Committee is concerned about a number of worrying issues that have arisen during the inquiry and will question the Exchequer Secretary, Mr Athow and Mr Stewart on issues including:
- Who, in the UK, is responsible for leading the fight against EU fraud and irregularity?
- The Committee has heard that no Government department keeps a record of the level of fraud and irregularity against the EU budget in the UK – why not and should they start to do so?
- Does the Government consider VAT fraud to be fraud against the EU's budget? And whose responsibility is it to fight it?
The evidence session will take place at 4pm on Wednesday 16 January in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords and will be webcast live at www.parliamentlive.tv.
The evidence session is also open to the public. Journalists wishing to attend should go to Parliament's Cromwell Green Entrance and should allow time for security screening.