Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sauce for the Goose...

Like most genuine benefit claimants I fear doing anything, even accidentally, which might potentially lead me to being accused of benefit fraud. "It's just not worth getting caught" is a phrase I hear often from other claimants who may have been offered odd hours of cash in hand work. The political campaigns against benefit fraud have obviously had an impact upon claimants who can't work full time even if they wanted to. 

"The benefits don't have to know" is something I've been told frequently since the MP's expenses scandal. Not as you might think from other claimants...those that I know are pretty much all still too scared of the potential of being investigated for fraud. I'm being told this by taxpayers, mostly those in the professions, even on one memorable occasion by one of my doctors. 

Seems like taxpayers are starting to realise that the benefits system might not be providing quite what they think it should provide to genuine claimants. Fed up with hearing about outrageous expenses claims from MP's and benefits claimants unable to access the support they need attitudes are changing. "I'm not paying so much tax so you can go without" is another expression I'm hearing more and more frequently.
 

9 comments:

Charlene said...

Fraud in any enterprise is something not to be supported by a wink and a nod. As a tax payer and citizen I hire people to evaluate people needing help and making sure they are not able to work. That means fraud should be caught. When fraud is not in the system the people who need help get it. That is how it should be.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Charlene: I agree with you that fraud should not be supported. This is a particular point about how the fraud of our elected representatives in the UK seems to have altered the attitude of taxpayers towards benefit fraud. I'm not saying I agree with that attitude, just pointing out that if corruption is viewed as acceptable right at the top, those beneath will naturally start to view it as something they should do too.

Charlene said...

A lot of people use the bad acts of others as excuses for doing wrong themselves. That's not right, either! SMILE

Lankylonglegs said...

As always, the government get to say "Do as we say, not do as we do"
Rules should apply to one and all, regardless of who you are, this lot break all the rules then somehow it conveniently just 'goes away' and nothing more is ever said or done.
It's time that ALL followed the same set of rules and accepted the punishments that ensue!
I think these MP's that flaunt the law and rules and bend things to suit their own agendas should be made scapegoats, the funding that should cover those in genuine need gets smaller each year and can certainly do without the rich b*****ds fleecing the system to line their own pockets.

Jo x

Big Mouth said...

Yes. It was fascinating to watch these people claim more on a single expense than I get in benefits in a year (ca £9,500 including housing).

Even more fascinating to see that Tony Blair exploits the tax system he helped to set up so that he pays no tax at all.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to live on a benefit as I barely cope - and that by living communally. Perhaps others know how to exploit the system better than me?

The latest announcements of spending cuts are ominous. The review by a politician who's already unpopular and who's career is more or less over does not bode well either.

The media emphasise the frauds because it suits their agenda. They don't report on how people with illness and living on benefits struggle with daily life. There's no mileage in that for them.

Arienette said...

Can we swap circles? On thursday I was pushed into 'admitting' that I have a car on the motability scheme and then looked up and down, sneered at, and asked 'How do YOU qualify for mobility?' in that 'why am I paying my taxes so you can have a new car?' tone of voice. I've also been accused of benefit fraud by my in-laws (because obviously they know me and my health situation better than my team of doctors, therapists, psychiatrists etc.) and when we had to live on benefits for a little bit were frequently told we were causing shame and were 'an embarassment'.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Charlene: That pretty much sums up what our Members of Parliament have been doing!

LL: Too right! I've still not recovered from the hypocrisy of James Purnell in particular, he is loathsome!

Big Mouth: I think for those who are choosing to exploit the benefits system the living can be very good. Especially if it's someone who's working full time whilst claiming benefits, perhaps also claiming housing benefit on a local authority home & illegally subletting it. Add in a few children to claim for, give them medical conditions so you get DLA too & suddenly that's a huge amount of fraudulently obtained income. The media just prefer to spout rhetoric about that being the typical claimant & conveniently ignore that most are scrupulously honest & desperately struggling.

Lou: Too Right! I can't see the media changing their tune any time soon though :(

Arienette: That beautifully sums up why I have nothing to do with the people I grew up with/knew before disability! Life is too short to waste on such narrow minded, jealous, petty, hypocrites regardless of how long you've known them or any blood 'relationship'

Arienette said...

And that's not even including our landlord/property manager who turned into psychopaths once they found out were were receiving housing ben and were all set to refuse to renew our contract until they found out Husbot had found another job, despite the fact that we are brilliant tenants.

re: 'family', I could quite happily never see that side ever again, but I've been keeping the peace for three years because husbot still loves the arseholes, and it's difficult orchestrating visits for them to see the baby without me while I'm still breastfeeding. Plus, the second there's any open anymoity the WHOLE family is told about wht a bitch I am and how terribly I'm treating them. Ummm.
Children. Bloody children.

DavidG said...

The other problem we face in this area is false accusations of benefit fraud. End of 2010 some anonymous hero used the Benefit Fraud Hotline to claim I was working full time, which wasn't even remotely possible. DWP didn't even carry out the most basic check of 'is this accusation feasible', they just went straight into investigation mode. The investigation was aborted before the investigator was even through my front door, I think she knew it was false before she ever arrived, but they still went through the process, and it triggered a massive flare-up for me, which is part of why I ultimately dropped my ESA claim.