Skip to main content

The poor subsidise the rich

'It's the same the whole world over...its the poor what gets the blame.' So the song goes. How true it is. Welfare 'cheats' are pursued mercilessly, the wealty tax dodgers hardly at all.  You would think that welfare cheats were costing us the earth. But they are not.

The State of the Nation report published in 2010 estimated the total benefit fraud in the United Kingdom in 2009/10 was approximately £1 billion.  Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that benefit fraud is thought to have cost taxpayers £1.2 billion during 2012–13,  Yet, a poll conducted by the Trades Union Congress in 2012 found that perceptions among the British public were that benefit fraud was high – on average people thought that 27% of the British welfare budget is claimed fraudulently.

Official UK Government figures put the level of fraud stands at 0.7% of the total welfare budget.  In contrast, it is estimated that tax fraud and tax evasion costs almost £69.9 bn per year. That lost through welfare fraud is a tiny fraction of that.

Chasing welfare 'cheats' is political. The failure to prosecute tax cheats is also political. It has suited this government drive to cut welfare to  allow the impression that somehow most recipients don't deserve it. They are bucking the system.  That has been the mood music - 'welfare scroungers'. We have had the stories of 'shirkers', people who don't work but claim benefits,  hiding behind closed curtains.  What a despicable falsehood it has been - a lie perpetrated by politicians with not a little help from the media.

All this has been a cover for 'austerity' along with the myth that 'we must cut the deficit'. Few challenge this story. Most buy into it. but it has been a prospectus of economic madness. It has delayed recovery so that we had the longest recession and greater suffering as a result. The bitter pill, we were told, had to be taken.  The medicine would be good for us. The 'scroungers' were pursued.

We had the bedroom tax in an attempt to drive hard working families from their homes. We had flawed disability assessments driving the disabled to despair and, in some cases, suicide. The coalition has been a shocking government — a government without a moral compass.  It is time it stopped.  They have chased the poorest and allowed the wealthiest to get away with it.  The wealthy have become the 'untouchables'.  The poorest 10% in the UK  pay proportionately more tax than the wealthiest. That is something the tax dodging rich should be ashamed of.  Taxpayer's money subsidises the lifestyle of the wealthy.

It is our money that pays for the training of the doctors and nurses that work in the private hospitals, not just the NHS. We train the doctors and the teachers - the teachers that teach their children. We pay for the roads on which they drive their limousines. We maintain the infrastructure that helps their businesses to grow so that they get richer. We, the taxpayer, and it is the poorest who shoulder the biggest burden of that tax.

The poor subsidise the rich. That is shameful.

 

Read Ray'a Novel: It wasn't always late summer 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't

No evidence for vaccine link with autism

Public health bodies are worried that an alarming drop in childhood vaccinations is leading to a resurgence of diseases in childhood that we had all but eradicated.  Misinformation and scare stories about the harmful effects of vaccines abound on the internet and in social media.  Where they are based on 'science', it is highly selective, and often reliance is placed on falsehoods.  Conspiracy theories also abound - cover-ups, deception, lies. As a result, too many parents are shunning vaccinations for their children.  So, what does the published, peer-reviewed literature tell us about vaccincations? Are they safe and effective, or are there long term harmful effects?  A new report now provides some of the answers. New evidence published in the Cochrane Library today finds MMR, MMRV, and MMR+V vaccines are effective and that they are not associated with increased risk of autism. Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (also known as chickenpox) are infectious diseases cau