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Not all of Ms de Grazias recommendations can be accepted. In particular, the prosecutors do not share Ms de Grazias conclusion that the way to address concerns about the disclosure regime is to return to the position prior to the Criminal Procedures and Investigation Act 1996. We keep the disclosure regime under active review and will work with practitioners and stakeholders to identify and implement improvements.
The Government are committed to ensuring that the legal framework as a whole allows fraudsters to be brought to justice, and has a number of relevant reforms in hand as part of the national fraud programme, implementing the recommendations of 2006s fraud review. For example, we are consulting on proposals for a framework for plea negotiation in fraud cases. A working group is examining Crown court powers to see if they are sufficient in relation to fraud; and a separate working group is examining whether there should be a specialist financial court.
These initiatives are part of a wider programme, financed by an additional £29 million from the comprehensive spending review 2007, including the establishment of a National fraud strategic authority; a national fraud reporting centre; and a lead force for fraud.
Under Richard Aldermans leadership, the Solicitor-General and I expect the SFO to play a full part in tackling fraud effectively as part of this wider programme.
Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
This is the 19(th) edition of the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. This report presents information on living standards in the United Kingdom
as determined by disposable income in 2006-07, and changes in income patterns over time.