Friday, January 04, 2013

Lies, damned lies and benefit cuts!

The TUC has published research which shows government and media attacks on scroungers are based on lies.

On average members of the public think 41 percent of the welfare budget goes to the unemployed. This “fact” is used to justify attacking the unemployed as scroungers. In fact the figure is 3 percent. And any of the “hard-working taxpayers” of today could be denounced as the  “workshy scroungers” of  tomorrow if the recession throws them out of work.

Alongside the massive tax dodging of firms like Vodafone and Starbucks, the amount of benefit fraud is minuscule. The public are led to believe it is 27 percent of the welfare budget. The figure is actually less than one percent.

Alongside the legal and illegal expenses claims of MPs most fraud is tiny. This has not stopped the Tories of Westminster City Council from floating the idea of cutting benefit for people they deem too fat. And next week people they deem too thin or too tall no doubt. And what are these people supposed to do without benefits? “Die and reduce the surplus population” to quote that model of fiscal responsibility, Ebenezer Scrooge.

People in work are being asked to approve attacks on the unemployed because they get too much money. An example is an unemployed couple with two school-aged children. The approval is based on an imagined figure of £147. And what would people like to cut it to? Perhaps £111.45 which is the real figure.

The old adage would seem to be true. Figures can’t lie but liars can figure.

The Daily Express headlined “a new ice age”, “a cure for cancer” and “the economy is booming” in the same month. Why on earth believe it when they tell you 80 percent of benefit claimants are frauds?
The TUC has done a good job in commissioning this research. Public policy decisions should be based on the truth not convenient lies.
Tories wish to punish obesity

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