The real scroungers in society – Dispelling the benefit fraud myths.

As of recent, channel 4 and several other media outlets have been on a witchunt, looking to openly humiliate and crucify those who recieve and claim benefits.

We will all be familiar with tv shows such as ‘benefits street’ and ‘on benefits and proud’ .

Even if we haven’t watched it ourselves it is likely we have read about it or overheard others talking about it.

Now if you still don’t know what I’m referring to, I am talking about the recent influx of news articles and programs being aired which I can only describe to you as ‘benefit bashing’.

Programs whose sole agenda and intention is to drum up hatred and anger amongst the general public by creating a divide.

Personally I have just about had enough of seeing people on benefits ridiculed and being potrayed as being ‘scroungers’ and ‘fraudsters’ who drain our society. I’m tired of seeing ignorant posts on social media with people who truly seem to believe that the reason their taxes are so high and the reason our economy is falling is because of people on benefits and ‘foreigners coming over here and taking our money’.

Fraud is bad. But not all people who claim benefits are committing fraud. In fact benefit fraud only accounts for less than 2% of the amount of fraud committed annually. Out of all the types of fraud calculated by the government benefit fraud is actually the second lowest type of fraud committed with only identity fraud having a lower rate.

20.3 million British families recieve some kind of benefits. That is 64% of all families. So I find it highly hypocritical to hear so many so quick to tarnish everyone who claims benefits under the same brush.

Out of the 20.3 million recieving benefits, statistics show that less than 1% comitted benefit fraud. This equates for £1.2 billion. Which may seem like a high figure but when you turn these statistics on the flipside, during the year of 2012 £1.3billion in benefits were underpaid!!

So now we know that benefit fraud only equates for 2% of the amount of fraud committed annually, lets look at the rest of the public sector. Public sector fraud equates to at least 8% of total fraud comitted yearly with a total of £20.3 billion a year! Majority of this figure being from tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually.

A report from HM revenue and customs, recently showed that the ‘tax gap’ for businesses operating in Britain is around 13% of total liabilities and COSTS THE PUBLIC PURSE £4.7 billion a year. What’s even more unsettling is that HM revenue and customs controversially does not take into account the controversial ‘profit shifting’ schemes mega comoanies such as amazon, google and starbucks run. So this figure of £4.7 billion is likely to be significantly lower than actual figures which are estimated to be as much as £12 Billion a year!!

Now take the £1.2 billion being lost to benefit fraud and compare it with the £12 billion being lost by businesses just through tax alone and it becomes clear that it’s not people on benefits we should be worrying about the biggest scroungers in society are the the corporations, banks and politicians who dodge, weave and ultimately will do anything to keep their money, including turning us hardworking and tax paying citizens against each other and diverting our attention from the real reason our money is disappearing.

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One thought on “The real scroungers in society – Dispelling the benefit fraud myths.

  1. You are absolutely right, and those statistics are really interesting. There is such a stigma surrounding government benefits, yet so many people benefit from them. According to some research by my university professor (I don’t have a source because that takes a while, but I’m taking this from his lecture slides. His name is WJH van Oorschot), 55% of people will at some point in their life rely on benefits such as unemployment benefit, disability benefit, sick pay or social assistance. That’s more than half the population! Additionally, about 90% of people at least have a family member or a close friend who receives those benefits, which shows that it really doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person if you have to rely on benefits for a while.

    Now, these numbers are all from the Netherlands, where the social system is a bit more elaborate, but still… it’s ridiculous that people blame so much on people with benefits. I recently wrote a blog post about it myself after I found out that the US doesn’t even HAVE a long-term unemployment benefit. It’s just absolutely ridiculous…

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