Fight against social fraud delivered €342 million in 2021

Fight against social fraud delivered €342 million in 2021
The fight against social fraud brought in more than expected. Credit: Belga

Last year’s fight against social fraud brought in  €342 million, far more than the €200 million predicted in the authorities’ budget, Employment Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne said on Friday, citing based on figures from the Information and Social Research office (SIRS).

The federal government’s target in the fight against tax and social fraud was €1 billion euros for the period of 2021-2024, Belga News Agency reports.

€200 million had been budgeted for 2021 and 2022, while an amount of €300 million per year was planned for 2023 and 2024.

Government exceeds targets

The government’s target for 2021 has therefore clearly been exceeded, having brought in almost 1.5 times more than the estimated €200 million.

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The largest contributor is social security contribution fraud, accounting for €110 million, followed by direct debit fraud, the withholding obligation for social debts, and undeclared work.

These results appeared out of over 15,000 SRIS inspections. During the last budget conclave, it was decided to recruit 45 people in order to strengthen the inspection services. The first inspectors have already been recruited while others have entered the final stage of the process.

The objective is to further strengthen the teams that investigate social and economic fraud, in particular, to deal with the risk of economic and social exploitation of Ukrainian refugees on the Belgian labour market.

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