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Bizarre benefits fraud excuses revealed by government

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13587434
BBC wrote:
Ministers have tried to highlight the impact of benefit fraud by publishing some of the more unusual excuses used by people found guilty of cheating.

Reasons include carrying ladders as therapy rather than for cleaning windows, and claiming an identical twin had been doing work rather than them.

About £1.6bn is lost through benefit and tax credit fraud each year.

Some disability groups have warned the government against exaggerating the scale of the problem to justify cuts.

Have a look at the linked article, some of the excuses are quite amusing. However there is a comment on the article from a gentleman which states
But Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said: "The government really has to stop over-simplifying the debate on welfare and using unusual fraud cases to support changes which could have a serious and negative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of disabled people.

Thoughts and comments please people? I'm not sure if its true but I read somewhere that tax evasion/avoidance costs the govt more than benefit fraud, but it still shouldnt be an excuse not to combat cases where people are unlawfully taking money in benefits.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thoughts and comments please people? I'm not sure if its true but I read somewhere that tax evasion/avoidance costs the govt more than benefit fraud, but it still shouldnt be an excuse not to combat cases where people are unlawfully taking money in benefits.[/QUOTE]

    You don't know what you don't know, but its certainly estimated tax evasion may cost more (tax avoidance is totally different and doesn't cost the Government anything as it is people legally not paying more tax than they are owed - it's like saying the fact I bought a Buffy DVD from HMV that I cost Amazon money because I didn't buy it from there).

    However, very little of that evasion is from either listed companies or people with high wealth, lots of it is on things like smuggled cigs (I've seen one quote which suggests one third of ciggarrettes smoked in the UK has evaded duty), cash in hand. In fact often catching benefit cheats catches tax evaders as a fair amount of it are people claiming benefits whilst working as things such as window cleaners, plumbers and taking cash in hand.

    It's also not an either/or and there's plenty done looking at tax fraud

    http://www.payandbenefitsmagazine.co.uk/pab/article/doctors-are-targeted-in-hmrc-crackdown-on-tax-evasion-tax-12312131
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    In another instance, a man claimed more than £55,000 in disability benefits while he was working on a dairy farm.

    Someone needs to get their facts straight:

    Working and claiming disability benefits is legal.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with you there Melian, I think clarification would need to be made as to what he was claiming for exactly, and what he in theory was and wasnt able to do.

    My thoughts are that the article have confused disability and incapacity benefits. I'm not saying the bloke in question was lying, but it may be a case of a poor choice of words in the news article. Until clarified I guess you cant use it either way.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think we don't need to know what he claims for. It's none of our business. By stating what he claims for, may, or may not, mean you get people accusing others of fraud. Oh, sorry that already happens.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well if he is claiming benefits and the assessment made says that he can't/shouldnt be working at all, or only in certain circumstances, and is infact working hard and often at a dairy farm, then I suggest that it is either fraud or needs to be reassessed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We don't know his situation. How do we know he's only doing a few hours here and there? We don't even know what his duties are.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    We don't know his situation. How do we know he's only doing a few hours here and there? We don't even know what his duties are.

    That is why I said
    I agree with you there Melian, I think clarification would need to be made as to what he was claiming for exactly, and what he in theory was and wasnt able to do.

    I agreed that it was wrong to use that line in the article, because we dont know exactly what he was claiming for, or what he was able to do.

    I only said that it was fraud if he was claiming benefits if he was working when he shouldnt be working at all. I never said he should be reassessed or accused of fraud unless there was the evidence to show he was claiming for benefits he shouldnt have.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whatever the ins and outs this was a case of benefit fraud otherwise they wouldn't have highlighted it as an example of bizzare benefit fraud. It might be the press release was inprecise or the BBC have cocked up (and my money's on the latter), but even the DWP (who are a bunch of incompetent fuckwits) aren't going to say something is benefit fraud when it's legal
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I disagree. I think it's imprecise reporting here, which many newspapers seem to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    I disagree. I think it's imprecise reporting here, which many newspapers seem to do.

    You disagree yet you have just said pretty much what he said?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It is badly worded reporting on the part of the bbc, however they are reporting on events that have been confirmed as fraud, as reported by the govt, not events that they have investigated themselves.

    The opening paragraph of the article is
    Ministers have tried to highlight the impact of benefit fraud by publishing some of the more unusual excuses used by people found guilty of cheating.

    Which means that the bloke working on the farm HAS been found guilty of committing fraud, yes like I say just above it is bad wording on the part of the BBC, they have not been jumping to conclusions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whilst tax avoidance is certainly worse in terms of financial amounts, benefit fraud still costs us money and benefit cheats should still be hauled into court for doing it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Whilst tax avoidance is certainly worse in terms of financial amounts, benefit fraud still costs us money and benefit cheats should still be hauled into court for doing it.

    Tax avoidance costs us nothing, as it is not our money

    Tax evasion costs us.
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