You\’ll be surprised that Unite and Ritchie have double standards then, right?

Obviously fraud is wrong, but many people seem to think lots of people claiming benefits do so illegally.

When the TUC did a poll on this people thought that 37% of welfare was claimed fraudulently. The facts couldn’t be more different.

Just 0.7% of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently

Compare this to the total amount lost through tax evasion and avoidance…


My own estimate of the tax gap is, of course, much higher.

Is there a double standard here? I think there is you know.

On the one hand we have only that which is actively illegal. On the other hand we have all of that which is illegal and a further, vast, amount which is legal but these bozos think should not be.

Or, as Margaret Hodge has been known to say:

We\’re not accusing you of being illegal, we\’re accusing you of being immoral

And when we start talking about morals then it\’s every moralist for himself, isn\’t it? I doubt we\’d have to dig far to find some dingbat who thought that able bodied males should not receive benefits. Or slightly more sensible people who think that perhaps endless amounts for ever more children are all that good an idea.

Or even Ritchie himself in fact. He certainly makes the point that housing benefit is immoral because it\’s just a subsidy to landlords. Controlling rents and or building social housing would be morally better. And there\’s any number who call in work benefits immoral: they\’re subsidies to employers who should be forced to pay living wages instead.

And if housing benefit and in work benefits like tax credits are immoral then surely they must be added in as with tax avoidance? Things that are indeed legal but shouldn\’t be, in the opinion of the LHTD?

Or do double standards rule here?

18 thoughts on “You\’ll be surprised that Unite and Ritchie have double standards then, right?”

  1. Of course, what Ritchie should be saying is “My own estimate of the tax gap is, of course, unchanged for years, but someone needs to stump up 40 grand for me to look at it again”.

  2. Oof!

    That was a bit of a blow to the constitution, reading the words “Margaret” and “Hodge” at the same time as having Esther’s Ivories in your peripheral vision…

  3. Would double standards also include naming and shaming corporate baddies but banning from your blog about a year ago anyone who wrote the words ‘Ken Livingstone’ because “it’s not about the individuals so no names”?

    Or might they include a call for an all encompassing General Anti-Avoidance Principle but shouting (slightly hysterically I thought) that the gov’t had got “the wrong target” when it announced measures affecting a structure you yourself happen to use?

  4. @Noel Coper

    I don’t anticipate a recalculation from Murp, whatever the price. Firstly, with coproration tax rates going down he would have no option but to reduce his estimates accordingly.

    Secondly, and much more importantly, his profile has risen considerably since the last time he did it.. and so, therefore, has the number of people ready and able to pull apart some of the more spurious elements of his methodology. It’s not just Tim and FCABlog anymore. There are some big numbers in his £120bn that are a) nothing to do with ‘rich corporations’ and b) utter bobbins.

    I don’t think he’s got the stones to do it.

  5. You’ll forgive me if I think the statement:

    “Just 0.7% of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently” is complete bollocks…


    1) The civil servants aren’t going to fess up anyway
    2) Neither are all the people working in the black economy
    3) Neither are the police horse twatting thugs claiming disability…


    Lies, damn Lies, and government statistics and all that…

  6. And more importantly as the article highlights that everything knows people living comfortable lifestyles on the social whilst behaving like complete cunts.. hence the growing antipathy towards benefit claimants…

    There is obviously a tipping point for the percentage of chavs in any given community… roughly similar I’d have thought to the tipping point of chav kids in a classroom utterly ruining it for everyone else…

  7. The Thought [email protected]

    He will revisit and revise if it suits him. A decent guy like you probably can’t comprehend the sheer shamelessness here. This is a guy who isn’t bothered when exposed as ignorant – Timmy has eviscerated him but failed to embarrass him. He isn’t embarrassed when half the contributors to a blog, professionals in their field, refer to being banned from his blog; he just describes them as bought and paid for by the machine. He is entirely comfortable – because I cannot believe he isn’t aware he is doing it – arguing against himself in successive blogs, or even within the same posting sometimes. In short he is a chancer. Do you really think he is put off by Tim Worstall or FDABlog? As long as he can convince the PCS , the wider TUC, the JRF etc that he is fighting the good fight, appeal to their prejudices, then he is home and dry.

    On the subject of Ritchie’s seemless changes: can anyone tell me if The Courageous State included direct references to states needing their own currency? It’s just that it seems to me over the last 6 months or so the British Left has been distancing itself from the Euro debacle and is now even claiming it is a capitalist, i.e. Tory, plot.

  8. There’s another one.

    The 0.7% is *identified* fraud.

    The tax dodged number is a *guessed* figure, which may well be an order of magnitude out with the comparable.

  9. I suppose that one way to describe it is that the 0.7% benefit fraud figure assumes a detection/prosecution rate of 100%.

  10. It may not require prosecution – just proof or admittance it has been ongoing. Used to work in the next section from the fraud team, they only took cases to prosecution occasionally, most of their cases were more getting someone off benefits and getting money paid back at so much a week. Prosecutions cost money and rarely had more effect than agreeing repayment that may or may not occur.

  11. Ironman (#7)

    I cannot recall any specific mention of either necessarily a common currency or the necessity of states having their own currency – allow me to have a look at the book after I get home and I will advise later on.

    What I do recall is that his advocacy of the FTT or ‘Tobin Tax’ made specific mention of including FX trading within its remit, indeed it was argued that that would be one of the most lucrative aspects of it. I’m not an FX Specialist myself, but I aspect the same plunges in liquidity and increased spreads would apply as they do in an Equity or Bond market. Anyone care to speculate on this?

    You’re absolutely right about him, though – his shamelessness (and immodesty) are boundless – Tim made a comparison between the ‘Courageous State’ and Fascist Italy in economic terms, in terms of Murphy’s attitude to truth in media relations in general, he is certainly living proof of the Goebbels maxim:

    ‘If the lie is big enough, and reported often enough’ , it automatically becomes the truth….’

  12. “There is obviously a tipping point for the percentage of chavs in any given community…”
    Quantifiable, as well.
    It’s referred to as the Labour Majority.

  13. “If the lie is big enough, and (repeated) often enough’ , it automatically becomes the truth….”

    Hence my regular banging on about “narratives”.
    Murphy invents it, Pollytwoddle opines about it, some Labour MP refers to it in Parliament & before long, in the public perception, it’s become the ‘truth’. And very difficult to refute because the refutation can be dismissed as a lie. Because it doesn’t fit the narrative.
    Politics is rarely about truth. It’s about perceptions. The Left gets this & always has.

  14. The bloke in Spain gets it.

    It is not true that history is written by the victors. It is that whoever writes history is the victor.

    I am writing my own history right now.

  15. Ironman (#11)

    Reviewed the sections of the book dealing with international relations and money and nothing about a common currency or indeed the necessity for states to have their own money (section 3 for those who have it) What it did reveal is that even between its authorship and now, some of Murphy’s stances have changed or altered – more credence to the idea that he is really making it up on the fly as he goes along. As the superb ‘bloke in spain’ (#12 & 13) points out – the key thing for Murphy and his ilk is to create the narrative – win the hearts and minds of the dim, gullible and misguided and go from there…

    Nevertheless, attempt to point something out on his blog and you will get a self -important piece of waffle along the lines of:

    ‘This is what I advocated back when the crisis came… etc’

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