Helen Sims: Benefit Fraud Posters

I’m getting really sick of this mantra by the DWP and the media in general.
The DWP themselves are losing more to their own ineptitude than what is being defrauded by a tiny majority of claimants.

Tax evasion is a far bigger social scourge than fraudulent benefit claims.
Just 0.7 per cent – or £1.2bn – of total benefit expenditure in 2012/13 was overpaid due to fraud but that compares with over £5bn a year that the government loses through tax avoidance schemes like the ones Gary Barlow and Jimmy Carr were caught out on.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-simon-duffy/is-fraud-always-wrong_b_3936987.html
http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2010/07/01/benefit-fraud-is-624-times-more-serious-than-tax-evasion/
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-simon-duffy/welfare-myth-benefit-fraud_b_2947000.html
http://leftfootforward.org/2013/09/another-crackdown-on-benefit-fraud-yet-it-accounts-for-just-0-7-per-cent-of-welfare-budget/

New Approach

https://twitter.com/ATurtle05 Illustration by @ATurtle05

The government has just launched another campaign to target benefit fraud, in the form of posters.

My reaction was ‘Oh, great! It’s another one of those ‘Is your neighbour committing benefit fraud’ campaigns!

This means more accusations of, ‘X can’t be disabled or ill. I saw them….!’
‘You can’t be ill, I saw you outside, SMILING’!’

Yes, this is a campaign reminding people to report a change of circumstances, but I think this is another attempt by the government to plant doubt and suspicion in people’s minds.

Can I please remind people, that not every disability or illness is visible, and even people who feel horrible on the inside, manage to smile?!

People make snap judgements, and that can lead to a lot of trouble, which is exactly what the government wants.

What it comes down to is that the Tories have always hated the Welfare state…

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