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?