Government Fails to Crackdown on Benefit Fraud
GOVERNMENT FAILS TO CRACKDOWN ON BENEFIT FRAUD – With the thousands of civil servants working at the Department of Work and Pensions, headed by its Secretary Iain Duncan Smith you might think that at least a few of them had some competency; unfortunately that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Despite David Cameron’s repeated pledge to get tough on benefit fraud two aspects remain unchanged.
The first of these is the amount of money that fraudsters managed to steal from the taxpayer which now amounts to £110.00 per second; which equates to a staggering £3.5 billion a year.
The second aspect is punishment and with our prisons already overflowing it’s not surprising that those who engage in benefit fraud do not fear reprisals for these are often punished with a mere a slap on the wrist and an order to pay back some of the funds.
These repayments of course are paid back through the legitimate benefits they are entitled to; yes it’s merely a case of Peter robbing Paul in order to pay back Paul’s stolen money.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has once again been hauled over the coals for a catalogue of failures and indeed for the 24th year in a row, the National Audit Office has again refused to sign off on the accounts due to what it calls an ‘unacceptable’ loss of taxpayer’s money.
The idea behind the National Audit Office signing off on the accounts is to primarily give the Department of Work and Pensions a clean bill of health; that it their accounts are in order and in line with public policy – something that is clearly not the case in this instance or indeed the last 24.
Look again carefully at the previous paragraph and note carefully how many years the National Audit Office has refused to sign off on the accounts… 24 years. If ever there was a clear message that the entire welfare system was broken then this has to be it.
It appears to many that not only have we become a nation who has adopted the notion of ‘entitlement,’ but we are also a nation of thieves who simply steal from taxpayer’s to fuel our own greed and this fact is backed up with the acknowledgement that we won’t even punish those who engage in such a crime – it’s little wonder why criminals are flocking to the UK.
It might now seem to David Cameron, after he attacked the Labour party for allowing fraudsters to steal £80.00 per second when last in power somewhat of a now very embarrassing mistake considering his ministers track record.
It now transpires that benefit fraud has risen by a further £1.2 billion and over-payment due to errors was up by £2.3 billion – the figures are simply staggering and again with the hordes of civil servants apparently administering the system you might have thought that such fraud and errors would not be possible.
If, as an austerity beaten, hard working taxpayer you find this offensive then you’d better be sitting down, for Iain Duncan Smith actually had the gumption to state that the fraud and errors were ‘broadly stable’; further declaring they were running at just over 2 per cent of the annual benefits bill.
It could be argued, regarding Mr. Duncan Smith’s assertion that squeezing the taxpayer to prop up his failing career is acceptable and indeed it certainly appears to be the case.
Yes, spending other people’s money without consequence or accountability appears to be a prerequisite for getting a job in Government.
In addition to the massive loss due to errors and fraud, the Work and Pensions Secretary also confirmed that he had written off £40 million of IT equipment following the complete failure of the Universal Credit System.
Again with what appears to be an indifference to the austerity strapped taxpayer, Mr. Duncan Smith merely discards another £40 million; but why should he care, after all the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has just awarded yet another massive 11 per cent pay rise for those in government positions; again it pays to be incompetent.
The Government is continuously on a drive to get people off their lazy backsides and back to work; the notion is that the taxpayer shouldn’t have to support those who do not want to work.
Such a drive is commendable but when you look closely at the system it is little wonder why some people don’t want to work; after all they would only be forced to pay taxes to an incompetent Government that allows others to steal and as a result won’t provide any real punishment.
The solution of course lies within our attitudes to welfare; again we live in an era of ‘entitlement’ which will always allow those who don’t want to work to effectively steal from those that do.
Welfare is the single biggest cause of the UK’s national debt and it’s not going to get any better until we make a stand and say ‘enough is enough, you either work or go without’. Yes, it really is time that most forms of welfare were simply scrapped therefore removing the opportunity for others to defraud the taxpayer.
It has to be said that if Government MPs, Ministers and Civil Servants were forced to work on Performance Related Pay is likely they would end up paying the taxpayer.