Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

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Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement Empty Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

Post by TopHat24/7 on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 1:24 pm

Often referred to as a mini-budget or budget-preview, the insufferably faced Gideon has today made/released his autumn statement (probably thankful of doing so it such strong economic tailwinds), and the Beeb has put it left-leanings aside the provide the following summary:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25232742

ECONOMIC GROWTH
Growth forecast for this year increased from 0.6% to 1.4%, for next year revised up from 1.8% to 2.4%
Revised figures from the Office for National Statistics show that GDP declined by 7.2% in 2008-09, not 6.3% as previously thought

GOVERNMENT BORROWING
The UK's "underlying" deficit - a measure that excludes the acquisition of the Royal Mail pension scheme and the effects of quantitative easing - has been revised down by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) to 6.8% this year, and to 5.6% next year.
It is then expected to fall to 4.4%, 2.7% and 1.2% in the subsequent financial years.
The OBR predicts there will be a small cash surplus in 2018-19.

BENEFITS AND PENSIONS
State pension age to increase to 68 in the mid-2030s and to 69 in the late 2040s. In April 2014, the state pension will rise by £2.95 a week.
Overall welfare spending to be capped.
Anyone aged 18 to 21 claiming benefits without basic English or Maths will be required to undertake training from day one or lose their entitlement. People unemployed for more than six months to be forced to start a traineeship, take work experience or do a community work placement or lose benefits.

TAXES AND ALLOWANCES
From April 2015, capital gains tax will be imposed on future gains made by non-residents who sell residential property in the UK.
Employer National Insurance contributions to be scrapped on 1.5 million jobs for young people.
The personal income tax allowance to rise to £10,000 from April 2014, and then from 2015-16 to increase by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation.
Business rates in England and Wales to be capped at 2% rather than linked to RPI inflation, with some retail premises in England to get a discount. Businesses moving into vacant properties will have their rates cut by 50%.
From April, a new tax relief is to be introduced for investment in social enterprises and new social impact bonds.

JOBS AND TRAINING
Unemployment benefits claimants down 200,000, with forecasts for unemployment down from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015.
Unemployment expected to fall further to 5.6% by 2018.
Total number of jobs to rise by 400,000 this year and 3.1 million jobs predicted to be created by 2019.

TRANSPORT
Petrol taxes stay frozen - planned rise of 2p per litre for next year scrapped.
Regulated train fares to rise in line with inflation, not at 1% above RPI as planned.

EDUCATION AND FAMILIES
An additional 20,000 apprenticeships to be funded over the next two years.
All pupils at state schools in England in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are to get free school lunches from next September, at an estimated cost of £600m a year.

HOUSING
Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated.

INFRASTRUCTURE
Tax allowances aiming to encourage investment in shale gas to cut tax on early profits by 50%.

OVERSEAS AID
Pledge to spend 0.7% of national income on international development to be met without increase to aid budget.


His overall theme was very much one of cautionary optimism and he has not proposed tax breaks in this parliament term however the first budget surplus this millennia may bring forward that prospect.

Thoughts?

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 8:25 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:.


HOUSING
Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated.


Thoughts?
because selling off council houses has really worked so far.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 9:35 pm

Also a bit concerned with the forcing people into training Poopie - for my wife (who went in voluntarily) the training was a godsend - and for my mate it was a complete and utter waste of time that taught the very basics - ignoring that he'd been in work since he was 17 until 28 and only applied for jsa 9 months after losing his job when his savings ran out.

Frak sake - we've got gas - now use it rather than allowing some other Frak to take over and Frak you in the bumhole george.

Cap rent rather than Capital gains tax - the housing giants will find a way around it

But all in all not as much a disaster as i thought it would be.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 12:01 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:.


HOUSING
Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated.


Thoughts?
because selling off council houses has really worked so far.
Again, reading what you want to read.

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Post by Gentleman01 on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 4:50 pm

I think the Conservatives have, almost, made good on their pre-election pledges. That is, to reduce the deficit and cut back public spending.

It's been many years since the crash before we have started to see real GDP growth. This was inevitable, due to austerity policies economic growth was never going to be achieved quickly. However, it was a calculated gamble, IMO, as the Conservatives knew that, despite the negative effect austerity would invariably have on GDP growth, the economy would recover in time for the 2015 election.

It's why Labour changed tack some months ago and chose to highlight the 'cost of living crisis' rather than the flat-lining economy. We all knew growth would come given enough time, the question is now, will that growth transfer in to increased wealth / living standards for the general populous?

To me, GDP figures mean very little. Eric Hobsbawm summarised it pretty well;

"The test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London Universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners."

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 8:46 pm

Gentleman01 wrote:I think the Conservatives have, almost, made good on their pre-election pledges. That is, to reduce the deficit and cut back public spending.

It's been many years since the crash before we have started to see real GDP growth. This was inevitable, due to austerity policies economic growth was never going to be achieved quickly. However, it was a calculated gamble, IMO, as the Conservatives knew that, despite the negative effect austerity would invariably have on GDP growth, the economy would recover in time for the 2015 election.

It's why Labour changed tack some months ago and chose to highlight the 'cost of living crisis' rather than the flat-lining economy. We all knew growth would come given enough time, the question is now, will that growth transfer in to increased wealth / living standards for the general populous?

To me, GDP figures mean very little. Eric Hobsbawm summarised it pretty well;

"The test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London Universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners."

Good post, Gent.

I think your last paragraph has gotten pretty much to the nub of the matter.

The Conservatives will clearly want to highlight economic growth in the next couple of years, whereas Labour will want to put the decline in living standards on the front pages. Politics, dear boy.... politics.... politics...

But this is nothing new. We have been talking about a growing gap in society since Thatcher was in Number Ten. At first it was "Haves and Have-Nots" and then it became the "North / South Divide".

But now we are drifting inexorably towards a genuine two-tier society. Something that is going beyond simple haves and have nots, or a demographic shift defined by a line across the country with the rich on one side and the poor on the other.

Genuine poverty..... real..... deep... poverty is now spreading all over Britain. The most obvious manifestation of this is the increase in the number of people reliant on food banks to put a meal in their bellies. This is a terrible state of affairs in a rich country like Great Britain and it tells us.... or it should.... what sort of people we are becoming.

This Autumn statement does not address that issue. It deals with business and growth and there are lots of stats and figures and projections and forecasts, but it does nothing to tell anybody what is going to be done for the truly poor.

Instead, the Tories continue their line about "Shirkers" and the "workshy" and promote their lie that only the lazy are suffering. Worse still, they are ingraining the mentality that anybody who is out of work actually deserves to suffer. That a spell of hunger will do them good and motivate them to get off their lazy butts and get on their bikes to look for work.

I have seen the Favelas of Rio de Janiero. Appalling, dreadful places, almost right on top of areas where obscene wealth is flaunted in full view of children who have fleas. The wealthy of Rio don't even see the poverty in their midst. The poor have become invisible. The rich don't even see them anymore.

This is a culture that is slowly but surely getting a foothold in Britain. We don't quite have favelas here in Britain......... yet. But the way things are going, we soon will have.

And nothing I have seen in these Tories suggests to me that they will do anything to prevent it.
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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 10:03 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:.


HOUSING
Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated.


Thoughts?
because selling off council houses has really worked so far.
Again, reading what you want to read.
Read what you posted

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 10:12 pm

The Fourth Lion wrote:

This Autumn statement does not address that issue.   It deals with business and growth and there are lots of stats and figures and projections and forecasts, but it does nothing to tell anybody what is going to be done for the truly poor.

Instead, the Tories continue their line about "Shirkers" and the "workshy" and promote their lie that only the lazy are suffering.  Worse still, they are ingraining the mentality that anybody who is out of work actually deserves to suffer.   That a spell of hunger will do them good and motivate them to get off their lazy butts and get on their bikes to look for work.

I have seen the Favelas of Rio de Janiero.  Appalling, dreadful places, almost right on top of areas where obscene wealth is flaunted in full view of children who have fleas.  The wealthy of Rio don't even see the poverty in their midst.  The poor have become invisible.  The rich don't even see them anymore.  

This is a culture that is slowly but surely getting a foothold in Britain.  We don't quite have favelas here in Britain......... yet.  But the way things are going, we soon will have.

And nothing I have seen in these Tories suggests to me that they will do anything to prevent it.
I too have seen enormous poverty in places such as Africa and how the rich live the life of luxury whilst the poor are literally starving. The Uk seems to be turning into many of the countries I have seen on my travels where the poor are seen as a burden and are throw to the side and left to suffer with no help.

I think it is a sad sign of the low morals some people have when they would rather watch the £'s and $'s add up in their bank account to numbers that are too high to count than to give a tiny percentage of their wealth to the poor to help them buy food and pay for a roof over their head.

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Post by SirJohnnyEnglish on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 10:22 pm

Are you seriously comparing the UK to 3rd world countries?? Headscratch

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 11:42 pm

SirJohnnyEnglish wrote:Are you seriously comparing the UK to 3rd world countries?? Headscratch
I was comparing the mindset the rich have in the UK and in many African countries towards the poor.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Sat 07 Dec 2013, 6:53 am

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
SirJohnnyEnglish wrote:Are you seriously comparing the UK to 3rd world countries?? Headscratch
I was comparing the mindset the rich have in the UK and in many African countries towards the poor.
CS makes a relevant point.  

Whilst the shift in the wealth demographic is bad enough in itself, a subtle but fundamental change is taking place in the national psyche.

Firstly, I would like to say:  Yes, there are some who exploit the system.  There is no denying that.  But I would argue that they are a very small minority, and in any case, such individuals exist in every nation on the planet.  The workshy exist in the US..... in Canada.... in Australia..... hell, they even have them in Germany..!!  They should be encouraged to change their ways and be penalised when they don't, but please..... don't tar all those out of work with the same brush.

But the central point that I think is relevant here is this:  Those who are not experiencing poverty are devaluing the word through their growing indifference to the plight of those suffering from it.   Ask yourself what you see when you walk past a job centre.... when you look at those inside, scanning the terminals in the hope of finding work, or sitting with an advisor, going over their present state and what they may be able to claim so that they can feed their family this week, or heat their home or put shoes on their children's feet.


Do you see somebody desperately trying to find a way to improve their condition and regain their self respect, or do you see a scavenger, screwing the State in order to live the life of Riley..?   I'd like to ask you:  What do you see..?

Increasingly, the answer to that question would be a workshy, indolent scrounger, sponging off the decent, hardworking majority who pay taxes so that the scum of society, along with their slatternly wives, can infest decent society with feral children who will undoubtedly become thieves, rapists and drug dealers in the future.

This is the consequence of the Conservatives rhetoric when Cameron stands up in the House and talks about scroungers lying in bed, behind the closed curtains while his "decent hardworking people" get up and go to work.

A sad shift in mindset is taking place in Britain and it shames us as a people.  

Or at least, it should.
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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:20 am

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:.


HOUSING
Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing and rundown urban housing estates to be regenerated.


Thoughts?
because selling off council houses has really worked so far.
Again, reading what you want to read.
Read what you posted
I did, you didn't. Not that it's every stopped you offering a patronising diatribe about something you know nothing about before.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:52 am

The Fourth Lion wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:I think the Conservatives have, almost, made good on their pre-election pledges. That is, to reduce the deficit and cut back public spending.

It's been many years since the crash before we have started to see real GDP growth. This was inevitable, due to austerity policies economic growth was never going to be achieved quickly. However, it was a calculated gamble, IMO, as the Conservatives knew that, despite the negative effect austerity would invariably have on GDP growth, the economy would recover in time for the 2015 election.

It's why Labour changed tack some months ago and chose to highlight the 'cost of living crisis' rather than the flat-lining economy. We all knew growth would come given enough time, the question is now, will that growth transfer in to increased wealth / living standards for the general populous?

To me, GDP figures mean very little. Eric Hobsbawm summarised it pretty well;

"The test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London Universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners."

Good post, Gent.  

I think your last paragraph has gotten pretty much to the nub of the matter.

The Conservatives will clearly want to highlight economic growth in the next couple of years, whereas Labour will want to put the decline in living standards on the front pages.   Politics, dear boy.... politics.... politics...

But this is nothing new.  We have been talking about a growing gap in society since Thatcher was in Number Ten.  At first it was "Haves and Have-Nots" and then it became the "North / South Divide".  

But now we are drifting inexorably towards a genuine two-tier society.  Something that is going beyond simple haves and have nots, or a demographic shift defined by a line across the country with the rich on one side and the poor on the other.

Genuine poverty..... real..... deep... poverty is now spreading all over Britain.  The most obvious manifestation of this is the increase in the number of people reliant on food banks to put a meal in their bellies.  This is a terrible state of affairs in a rich country like Great Britain and it tells us.... or it should.... what sort of people we are becoming.


And this is why the genuinely feckless and workshy love people like you, desperate to excuse and pander to them.

The food bank phenomenon is one of the great fallacies of modern Britain. You say it is a symptom of extreme poverty and attitude of the 'rich/haves' to the 'poor/have nots', I say it is a symptom of the cancerous sense of entitlement that has been gradually overtaking society for many years.

How many people visiting the food banks have ever heard of Momma Jack, let alone tried on of her recipes? She can feed a family of five a large healthy nutritious dinner for substantially less than the cost of a packet of cigs.

How many people visiting these banks can genuinely be absolved of any financial irresponsibility? How popular would they be if not for the constant barrage of publicity emanating from the left? If they had never existed, would the streets be littered with the bodies of the dead and dying through starvation or would removal of the soft touch option mean people had to find another way to feed themselves/their families?

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 1:25 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
The Fourth Lion wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:I think the Conservatives have, almost, made good on their pre-election pledges. That is, to reduce the deficit and cut back public spending.

It's been many years since the crash before we have started to see real GDP growth. This was inevitable, due to austerity policies economic growth was never going to be achieved quickly. However, it was a calculated gamble, IMO, as the Conservatives knew that, despite the negative effect austerity would invariably have on GDP growth, the economy would recover in time for the 2015 election.

It's why Labour changed tack some months ago and chose to highlight the 'cost of living crisis' rather than the flat-lining economy. We all knew growth would come given enough time, the question is now, will that growth transfer in to increased wealth / living standards for the general populous?

To me, GDP figures mean very little. Eric Hobsbawm summarised it pretty well;

"The test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London Universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners."

Good post, Gent.  

I think your last paragraph has gotten pretty much to the nub of the matter.

The Conservatives will clearly want to highlight economic growth in the next couple of years, whereas Labour will want to put the decline in living standards on the front pages.   Politics, dear boy.... politics.... politics...

But this is nothing new.  We have been talking about a growing gap in society since Thatcher was in Number Ten.  At first it was "Haves and Have-Nots" and then it became the "North / South Divide".  

But now we are drifting inexorably towards a genuine two-tier society.  Something that is going beyond simple haves and have nots, or a demographic shift defined by a line across the country with the rich on one side and the poor on the other.

Genuine poverty..... real..... deep... poverty is now spreading all over Britain.  The most obvious manifestation of this is the increase in the number of people reliant on food banks to put a meal in their bellies.  This is a terrible state of affairs in a rich country like Great Britain and it tells us.... or it should.... what sort of people we are becoming.


And this is why the genuinely feckless and workshy love people like you, desperate to excuse and pander to them.

The food bank phenomenon is one of the great fallacies of modern Britain.  You say it is a symptom of extreme poverty and attitude of the 'rich/haves' to the 'poor/have nots', I say it is a symptom of the cancerous sense of entitlement that has been gradually overtaking society for many years.  

How many people visiting the food banks have ever heard of Momma Jack, let alone tried on of her recipes?  She can feed a family of five a large healthy nutritious dinner for substantially less than the cost of a packet of cigs.  

How many people visiting these banks can genuinely be absolved of any financial irresponsibility? How popular would they be if not for the constant barrage of publicity emanating from the left? If they had never existed, would the streets be littered with the bodies of the dead and dying through starvation or would removal of the soft touch option mean people had to find another way to feed themselves/their families?

you're boring.


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:01 pm

Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

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Post by Gentleman01 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:04 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
The Fourth Lion wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:I think the Conservatives have, almost, made good on their pre-election pledges. That is, to reduce the deficit and cut back public spending.

It's been many years since the crash before we have started to see real GDP growth. This was inevitable, due to austerity policies economic growth was never going to be achieved quickly. However, it was a calculated gamble, IMO, as the Conservatives knew that, despite the negative effect austerity would invariably have on GDP growth, the economy would recover in time for the 2015 election.

It's why Labour changed tack some months ago and chose to highlight the 'cost of living crisis' rather than the flat-lining economy. We all knew growth would come given enough time, the question is now, will that growth transfer in to increased wealth / living standards for the general populous?

To me, GDP figures mean very little. Eric Hobsbawm summarised it pretty well;

"The test of the enormous wealth generated in patches of the capital is not that it contributed 20%-30% to Britain's GDP but how it affects the lives of the millions who live and work there. What kind of lives are available to them? Can they afford to live there? If they can't, it is not compensation that London is also a paradise for the ultra-rich. Can they get decently paid jobs or jobs at all? If they can't, don't brag about all those Michelin-starred restaurants and their self-dramatising chefs. Or schooling for children? Inadequate schools are not offset by the fact that London Universities could field a football team of Nobel prize winners."

Good post, Gent.  

I think your last paragraph has gotten pretty much to the nub of the matter.

The Conservatives will clearly want to highlight economic growth in the next couple of years, whereas Labour will want to put the decline in living standards on the front pages.   Politics, dear boy.... politics.... politics...

But this is nothing new.  We have been talking about a growing gap in society since Thatcher was in Number Ten.  At first it was "Haves and Have-Nots" and then it became the "North / South Divide".  

But now we are drifting inexorably towards a genuine two-tier society.  Something that is going beyond simple haves and have nots, or a demographic shift defined by a line across the country with the rich on one side and the poor on the other.

Genuine poverty..... real..... deep... poverty is now spreading all over Britain.  The most obvious manifestation of this is the increase in the number of people reliant on food banks to put a meal in their bellies.  This is a terrible state of affairs in a rich country like Great Britain and it tells us.... or it should.... what sort of people we are becoming.


And this is why the genuinely feckless and workshy love people like you, desperate to excuse and pander to them.

The food bank phenomenon is one of the great fallacies of modern Britain.  You say it is a symptom of extreme poverty and attitude of the 'rich/haves' to the 'poor/have nots', I say it is a symptom of the cancerous sense of entitlement that has been gradually overtaking society for many years.  

How many people visiting the food banks have ever heard of Momma Jack, let alone tried on of her recipes?  She can feed a family of five a large healthy nutritious dinner for substantially less than the cost of a packet of cigs.  

How many people visiting these banks can genuinely be absolved of any financial irresponsibility? How popular would they be if not for the constant barrage of publicity emanating from the left? If they had never existed, would the streets be littered with the bodies of the dead and dying through starvation or would removal of the soft touch option mean people had to find another way to feed themselves/their families?

I expect the genuinely feckless and workshy do very much like people such as myself and TFL, as we argue for the existence of a welfare state, which these people obviously take advantage of.

However, as TFL correctly points out, the workshy exist in all places, it is not a specifically British phenomenon. The salient questions are; how much welfare fraud actually exists? and, what can be done to reduce it's existence?

We actually did this to death a year or so ago, but I am clear that, it is consistently estimated that benefit fraud accounts for less than 2% of all claims. For sure, it is 2% too many, but it is my opinion that this level of fraud does not warrant the dismantling, or the significant scaling back of, the benefits system.

Information on how the treasury spends our money is freely available online. If you look at the Department for Work and Pensions you'll see that just under half of it's budget is spent on state pensions to people who have paid tax and NI for their entire careers. Obviously this is not money we can touch or withdraw.

Where else is their to re-claim money from? Well, the second biggest budget within the department is for disability claims. It is conceivable that, if we focused our efforts and invested a huge amount of money, time, and energy, that we could reduce fraudulent disability claims. The money is then divided up in to many different and smaller pots, such as JSA, housing, etc. With a similar effort we could perhaps reduce the expenditure in all these areas by a relatively insignificant amount.

It is an emotive topic but, to me, the options seem clear;

Do our best, within reason, to eliminate benefit fraud where possible, but ultimately accept it as a relatively minor but still very real problem which is likely to exist for as long as we have a welfare state.
Or; if the mere existence of benefit fraud, regardless of how widespread, is utterly intolerable then we do away with the welfare state entirely.

For me, it's a non-issue. Yes, I abhor that someone would shamelessly exploit a compassionate system constructed to address the basic needs of those genuinely in distress. However, I never forget that the overwhelming majority of benefit claimants are genuine.

The poisonous rhetoric which demonises the unemployed is entirely unjustified and is completely disproportionate to this supposed 'burden' they impose on society.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:24 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:25 pm

It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

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Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement Empty Re: Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:26 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


Wow, you're ability to miss points and misinterpret is genuinely spectacular. How the hell you got five law degrees or whatever it was you were boasting is beyond me.

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Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement Empty Re: Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:33 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


Wow, you're ability to miss points and misinterpret is genuinely spectacular.  How the hell you got five law degrees or whatever it was you were boasting is beyond me.

I'm glad you are trying to squirm your way out of your previous comments  laughing 

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:36 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


Wow, you're ability to miss points and misinterpret is genuinely spectacular.  How the hell you got five law degrees or whatever it was you were boasting is beyond me.

I'm glad you are trying to squirm your way out of your previous comments  laughing 

Quote my comments you think I'm trying to squirm out of if you're that confident?

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Post by Gentleman01 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:37 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

I agree with this, although I'm not sure exactly how much much benefit fraud is estimated to actually cost the treasury, mind. I seem to remember a figure in the region of £1.2 billions out of a total of about £167 billions.

It still remains that, I think it profoundly unfair to demonise an entire section of society based on the actions of 1.7-2% of that section.

I'd of course like to see benefit fraud reduced / eradicated. However, I don't think attacking benefit claimants in general is an effective, or helpful way to go about achieving that.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:40 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


Wow, you're ability to miss points and misinterpret is genuinely spectacular.  How the hell you got five law degrees or whatever it was you were boasting is beyond me.

I'm glad you are trying to squirm your way out of your previous comments  laughing 

Quote my comments you think I'm trying to squirm out of if you're that confident?

to prove what? you know you said it, I know you said it so what is the need for proving it. Reminds me of a time when I was younger and I was in the front room with just my brother. Someone farted and obviously it wasn't me and so it must have been my brother as he was the only other one in the room. He denied farting even though I heard it and smelt it.

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Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement Empty Re: Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:42 pm

Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

I agree with this, although I'm not sure exactly how much much benefit fraud is estimated to actually cost the treasury, mind. I seem to remember a figure in the region of £1.2 billions out of a total of about £167 billions.

It still remains that, I think it profoundly unfair to demonise an entire section society based on the actions of 1.7-2% of that section.

I'd of course like to see benefit fraud reduced / eradicated. However, I don't think attacking benefit claimants in general is an effective, or helpful way to go about achieving that.

See where you're coming from, but my point was the '1.7-2.0%' statistic is deliberately misleading. Strip out pension costs and what does that fraud % rise to??

And low or high what makes it right or excusable? Punishing the majority due to the minority is indeed unfair, but again I think that statement is misleading. If you're of the view that the welfare system is good but over-generous, then reigning in some of that generosity is not punishing the majority because of the actions of a minority, it is simply re-aligning the system to fit with your views of how it should work and who it should work for.

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Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement Empty Re: Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:44 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


Wow, you're ability to miss points and misinterpret is genuinely spectacular.  How the hell you got five law degrees or whatever it was you were boasting is beyond me.

I'm glad you are trying to squirm your way out of your previous comments  laughing 

Quote my comments you think I'm trying to squirm out of if you're that confident?

to prove what? you know you said it, I know you said it so what is the need for proving it. Reminds me of a time when I was younger and I was in the front room with just my brother. Someone farted and obviously it wasn't me and so it must have been my brother as he was the only other one in the room. He denied farting even though I heard it and smelt it.

So that'll be a no then? You can't because you know you had to add 2+2 to get 5 to get there and your childish post will unravel as soon as you're required to back it up.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:46 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Whereas your contributions are as informed and enlightening as ever.

You really are boring though and I suspect a lot of your posts on the unemployed and poor are false views in an attempt to cause a reaction.

So far you have said all unemployed people who claim JSA also commit benefit fraud and you have also said that all unemployed people are work-shy, feckless and lazy.


Wow, you're ability to miss points and misinterpret is genuinely spectacular.  How the hell you got five law degrees or whatever it was you were boasting is beyond me.

I'm glad you are trying to squirm your way out of your previous comments  laughing 

Quote my comments you think I'm trying to squirm out of if you're that confident?

to prove what? you know you said it, I know you said it so what is the need for proving it. Reminds me of a time when I was younger and I was in the front room with just my brother. Someone farted and obviously it wasn't me and so it must have been my brother as he was the only other one in the room. He denied farting even though I heard it and smelt it.

So that'll be a no then? You can't because you know you had to add 2+2 to get 5 to get there and your childish post will unravel as soon as you're required to back it up.

just scroll up this page nd look at my comments where I quoted you.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:47 pm

Scrolled up, haven't seen you quote anything of mine that suggests anything contradictory.

Care to try again?

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 2:50 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Scrolled up, haven't seen you quote anything of mine that suggests anything contradictory.

Care to try again?

trying to squirm out of it again are you  laughing 

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:05 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Scrolled up, haven't seen you quote anything of mine that suggests anything contradictory.

Care to try again?

trying to squirm out of it again are you  laughing 

Um, how do you work that out?? Erm if you are correct then it should be a simple matter of fact there I have clearly said something in this thread above that contradicts something else I've said.

I can't see anything, care to grace us with what it is you are seeing?

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:20 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Scrolled up, haven't seen you quote anything of mine that suggests anything contradictory.

Care to try again?

trying to squirm out of it again are you  laughing 

Um, how do you work that out?? :erm:if you are correct then it should be a simple matter of fact there I have clearly said something in this thread above that contradicts something else I've said.

I can't see anything, care to grace us with what it is you are seeing?

just be a man instead of squirming.....

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:21 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Scrolled up, haven't seen you quote anything of mine that suggests anything contradictory.

Care to try again?

trying to squirm out of it again are you  laughing 

Um, how do you work that out?? :erm:if you are correct then it should be a simple matter of fact there I have clearly said something in this thread above that contradicts something else I've said.

I can't see anything, care to grace us with what it is you are seeing?

just be a man instead of squirming.....

Seriously, you can't be this childish, if you think I've contradicted myself then show everyone where.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:38 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Scrolled up, haven't seen you quote anything of mine that suggests anything contradictory.

Care to try again?

trying to squirm out of it again are you  laughing 

Um, how do you work that out?? :erm:if you are correct then it should be a simple matter of fact there I have clearly said something in this thread above that contradicts something else I've said.

I can't see anything, care to grace us with what it is you are seeing?

just be a man instead of squirming.....

Seriously, you can't be this childish, if you think I've contradicted myself then show everyone where.

I will do but I want you to squirm first.

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Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement Empty Re: Chancellor Gideon's Autumn Statement

Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:41 pm

Wow, talk about how to implode and lose an argument.......  Shocked 

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:49 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Wow, talk about how to implode and lose an argument.......  Shocked 

I just find it funny how desperate you are to squirm out of my posts on your personal views.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:54 pm

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Wow, talk about how to implode and lose an argument.......  Shocked 

I just find it funny how desperate you are to squirm out of my posts on your personal views.

But I'm not? Why is why you're now looking so silly. I'm here freely admitting that if you can show whatever it is you're going on about I'll concede the point(s). But I've gone back over this thread 3 or 4 times and cannot see anything.

You're the one squirming as you're the one that can't/won't back up anything you say and is having to resort to petty childish insults instead.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:55 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Champagne_Socialist wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:Wow, talk about how to implode and lose an argument.......  Shocked 

I just find it funny how desperate you are to squirm out of my posts on your personal views.

But I'm not? Why is why you're now looking so silly.  I'm here freely admitting that if you can show whatever it is you're going on about I'll concede the point(s).  But I've gone back over this thread 3 or 4 times and cannot see anything.

You're the one squirming as you're the one that can't/won't back up anything you say and is having to resort to petty childish insults instead.

I have your comments saved on my computer from threads that date back to spring. You clearly say that benefit claimants are lazy, but please continue to squirm Smile

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 3:59 pm

Saved on your computer? Wow, as if you couldn't make yourself look any sadder and more stalkerish..... Erm

That said, if they're saved on your computer and dating back several months, how could they have been found according to:

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
just scroll up this page nd look at my comments where I quoted you.

???????????

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 4:02 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Saved on your computer? Wow, as if you couldn't make yourself look any sadder and more stalkerish..... Erm

That said, if they're saved on your computer and dating back several months, how could they have been found according to:

Champagne_Socialist wrote:
just scroll up this page nd look at my comments where I quoted you.

???????????

 laughing 

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 4:02 pm

Seriously, I think you need to see a shrink......

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 4:05 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:Seriously, I think you need to see a shrink......

 thumbsup 

least i don't squirm  Laugh 

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 4:06 pm

Shocked 

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 4:10 pm

laughing 

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Post by Gentleman01 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 5:14 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

I agree with this, although I'm not sure exactly how much much benefit fraud is estimated to actually cost the treasury, mind. I seem to remember a figure in the region of £1.2 billions out of a total of about £167 billions.

It still remains that, I think it profoundly unfair to demonise an entire section society based on the actions of 1.7-2% of that section.

I'd of course like to see benefit fraud reduced / eradicated. However, I don't think attacking benefit claimants in general is an effective, or helpful way to go about achieving that.


See where you're coming from, but my point was the '1.7-2.0%' statistic is deliberately misleading.  Strip out pension costs and what does that fraud % rise to??

And low or high what makes it right or excusable? Punishing the majority due to the minority is indeed unfair, but again I think that statement is misleading.  If you're of the view that the welfare system is good but over-generous, then reigning in some of that generosity is not punishing the majority because of the actions of a minority, it is simply re-aligning the system to fit with your views of how it should work and who it should work for.

I don't think the statistic is deliberately anything. The statistics are what they are, it is up to us to interpret them and put them in context.

I really didn't suggest anywhere that benefit fraud was right or excusable? I don't think that.  

I also appreciate your point about reigning in the system, however, the question is; how is this to be done? Where would the savings be made, and how much is it realistically possible to save? If, as I suspect, it becomes very difficult to reign in spending without harming swathes of people who are genuinely in need, then is it still justifiable to do so?

You talk of punishing the majority, but that is not exactly what I said. I said that, rhetoric designed to demonise welfare claimants is not helpful. The reason I say this is that, IMO, the Conservatives know that it is not really possible to significantly reduce the welfare bill without causing severe distress to those in need, in particular the disabled. As a political party, they seek popular support for their policies and I believe this is the reason behind Cameron's / IDS's strivers vs skivers / workers vs shirkers rhetoric.

The Conservative party oppose welfare on ideological grounds. They want to cut benefits, not just for fraudsters, but for many people who rely on them to get by, and they are desperately seeking public support for this policy. I abhor benefit fraud, but I oppose the Conservative party's cynical use of it's existence to justify the withdrawal of aid to those who genuinely need it.

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Post by TopHat24/7 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 5:48 pm

Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

I agree with this, although I'm not sure exactly how much much benefit fraud is estimated to actually cost the treasury, mind. I seem to remember a figure in the region of £1.2 billions out of a total of about £167 billions.

It still remains that, I think it profoundly unfair to demonise an entire section society based on the actions of 1.7-2% of that section.

I'd of course like to see benefit fraud reduced / eradicated. However, I don't think attacking benefit claimants in general is an effective, or helpful way to go about achieving that.


See where you're coming from, but my point was the '1.7-2.0%' statistic is deliberately misleading. Strip out pension costs and what does that fraud % rise to??

And low or high what makes it right or excusable? Punishing the majority due to the minority is indeed unfair, but again I think that statement is misleading. If you're of the view that the welfare system is good but over-generous, then reigning in some of that generosity is not punishing the majority because of the actions of a minority, it is simply re-aligning the system to fit with your views of how it should work and who it should work for.

I don't think the statistic is deliberately anything. The statistics are what they are, it is up to us to interpret them and put them in context.

I really didn't suggest anywhere that benefit fraud was right or excusable? I don't think that.

I also appreciate your point about reigning in the system, however, the question is; how is this to be done? Where would the savings be made, and how much is it realistically possible to save? If, as I suspect, it becomes very difficult to reign in spending without harming swathes of people who are genuinely in need, then is it still justifiable to do so?

You talk of punishing the majority, but that is not exactly what I said. I said that, rhetoric designed to demonise welfare claimants is not helpful. The reason I say this is that, IMO, the Conservatives know that it is not really possible to significantly reduce the welfare bill without causing severe distress to those in need, in particular the disabled. As a political party, they seek popular support for their policies and I believe this is the reason behind Cameron's / IDS's strivers vs skivers / workers vs shirkers rhetoric.

The Conservative party oppose welfare on ideological grounds. They want to cut benefits, not just for fraudsters, but for many people who rely on them to get by, and they are desperately seeking public support for this policy. I abhor benefit fraud, but I oppose the Conservative party's cynical use of it's existence to justify the withdrawal of aid to those who genuinely need it.

Thanks for the considered response. To take your points in turn:

I don’t think you were trying to deliberately mislead, but statistics (whilst on the face of it objective) can be funny things and can quite easily be misrepresentative. Percentages particularly so as they will generally favour one side of an argument not the other, with the other side generally benefitting (perceptually) from gross numbers.

Here, 1-2% suggests (maybe not right/excusable) that it is ‘ok’ in some kind of margin of error type fashion. 1% sounds negligible, £1bn does not.

Those are indeed good questions, and I think the Tories are making a ham-fist of answering them at times, but I don’t think the fact people got used to overly-generous times under Labour should be used as an excuse to protect from cuts to the generosity in the future. The £26k pa cap being a good example, as receiving more than that in welfare handouts is absolutely obscene. But because some people did get that for a very long time there’s now this entrenched perception that they cannot survive with less. They can, because plenty do already, often with little or no help from the government.

Protecting genuinely vulnerable members of society, e.g the disabled (depending on how that’s defined), should not preclude cuts being made where possible/necessary. If people have become dependent on the generosity of the state to get by then this is symptomatic of a greater underlying problem and shouldn’t just be casually disregarded in the pursuit of some kind of socialist idealogy. I don’t think Conservatives are getting it right, but I don’t think Labour were either.

To bring this back round to the opening point, fraud, I don’t think it is being over-used by the Tories as a hook, I think they’re being quite open with their reasoning and it is clear that their adopted approach is in line with the typical stance of centre-right, small state, pro-business and pro self-reliance/working parties. Guilty of negative generalising rhetoric? Yes. Guilty of using the minority (fraudsters) to attack the majority? No sir, not for me.

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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 6:01 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

I agree with this, although I'm not sure exactly how much much benefit fraud is estimated to actually cost the treasury, mind. I seem to remember a figure in the region of £1.2 billions out of a total of about £167 billions.

It still remains that, I think it profoundly unfair to demonise an entire section society based on the actions of 1.7-2% of that section.

I'd of course like to see benefit fraud reduced / eradicated. However, I don't think attacking benefit claimants in general is an effective, or helpful way to go about achieving that.


See where you're coming from, but my point was the '1.7-2.0%' statistic is deliberately misleading.  Strip out pension costs and what does that fraud % rise to??

And low or high what makes it right or excusable? Punishing the majority due to the minority is indeed unfair, but again I think that statement is misleading.  If you're of the view that the welfare system is good but over-generous, then reigning in some of that generosity is not punishing the majority because of the actions of a minority, it is simply re-aligning the system to fit with your views of how it should work and who it should work for.

I don't think the statistic is deliberately anything. The statistics are what they are, it is up to us to interpret them and put them in context.

I really didn't suggest anywhere that benefit fraud was right or excusable? I don't think that.  

I also appreciate your point about reigning in the system, however, the question is; how is this to be done? Where would the savings be made, and how much is it realistically possible to save? If, as I suspect, it becomes very difficult to reign in spending without harming swathes of people who are genuinely in need, then is it still justifiable to do so?

You talk of punishing the majority, but that is not exactly what I said. I said that, rhetoric designed to demonise welfare claimants is not helpful. The reason I say this is that, IMO, the Conservatives know that it is not really possible to significantly reduce the welfare bill without causing severe distress to those in need, in particular the disabled. As a political party, they seek popular support for their policies and I believe this is the reason behind Cameron's / IDS's strivers vs skivers / workers vs shirkers rhetoric.

The Conservative party oppose welfare on ideological grounds. They want to cut benefits, not just for fraudsters, but for many people who rely on them to get by, and they are desperately seeking public support for this policy. I abhor benefit fraud, but I oppose the Conservative party's cynical use of it's existence to justify the withdrawal of aid to those who genuinely need it.
.

I don’t think the fact people got used to overly-generous times under Labour should be used as an excuse to protect from cuts to the generosity in the future.


Do you know how much people get in benefits or are you just guessing that they are overly generous?

I already highlighted to you that an unemployed person gets just over £50 a week to spend and you stated that the amount was so small that it was not enough to live on. So JSA claimants are not getting this overly generous benefit you highlighted.

So can you tell me some other benefits people get that are overly generous?

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 9:13 pm

£56.80 I get for JSA.

It's a wonderful life in truth.

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Post by Hero on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 9:59 pm

My eldest sister in law is 41 and she's not worked a day in her life.
She has three children from three fathers, the eldest aged 15 has cerebral palsy yet he himself has never let it affect him and is an incredibly bright young man, expected to get excellent grades and plays every week in a brass band, his mother though due to his disability has had her front garden for 3 bed semi in Bollington (a well sought after village outside Macclesfield) flattened and landscaped for easy access for him. The two younger children have learning difficulties, not obviously due to the fact that she or her partner have never read a book with them and that they've just been plonked in front of the tv since birth, that the eldest aged six already gets to play Call of Duty and GTA5 with his dad. That a few months ago she was given a brand new people carrier to ferry her brood around and more importantly to take the latest baby maker about so he can offload the pirated DVDs and games he sells for income whilst he's in-between jail terms for stealing cars.
I don't know if the cutbacks have affected her income but before that she was on 42k per year with a free house and car so yes the scroungers are out there.

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Post by The Fourth Lion on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:33 pm

Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:
Gentleman01 wrote:
TopHat24/7 wrote:It is circa 1.7-2.0% from memory. But percentages are used to hide-cover-up reality - which is that this fraud runs into the billions of pounds annually and is only so low on a percentage as it is a proportion of the total welfare bill, a massive amount of which is state pension payments which aren't really the problem and are pretty damn hard to abuse.

I agree with this, although I'm not sure exactly how much much benefit fraud is estimated to actually cost the treasury, mind. I seem to remember a figure in the region of £1.2 billions out of a total of about £167 billions.

It still remains that, I think it profoundly unfair to demonise an entire section society based on the actions of 1.7-2% of that section.

I'd of course like to see benefit fraud reduced / eradicated. However, I don't think attacking benefit claimants in general is an effective, or helpful way to go about achieving that.


See where you're coming from, but my point was the '1.7-2.0%' statistic is deliberately misleading.  Strip out pension costs and what does that fraud % rise to??

And low or high what makes it right or excusable? Punishing the majority due to the minority is indeed unfair, but again I think that statement is misleading.  If you're of the view that the welfare system is good but over-generous, then reigning in some of that generosity is not punishing the majority because of the actions of a minority, it is simply re-aligning the system to fit with your views of how it should work and who it should work for.

I don't think the statistic is deliberately anything. The statistics are what they are, it is up to us to interpret them and put them in context.

I really didn't suggest anywhere that benefit fraud was right or excusable? I don't think that.  

I also appreciate your point about reigning in the system, however, the question is; how is this to be done? Where would the savings be made, and how much is it realistically possible to save? If, as I suspect, it becomes very difficult to reign in spending without harming swathes of people who are genuinely in need, then is it still justifiable to do so?

You talk of punishing the majority, but that is not exactly what I said. I said that, rhetoric designed to demonise welfare claimants is not helpful. The reason I say this is that, IMO, the Conservatives know that it is not really possible to significantly reduce the welfare bill without causing severe distress to those in need, in particular the disabled. As a political party, they seek popular support for their policies and I believe this is the reason behind Cameron's / IDS's strivers vs skivers / workers vs shirkers rhetoric.

The Conservative party oppose welfare on ideological grounds. They want to cut benefits, not just for fraudsters, but for many people who rely on them to get by, and they are desperately seeking public support for this policy. I abhor benefit fraud, but I oppose the Conservative party's cynical use of it's existence to justify the withdrawal of aid to those who genuinely need it
.


Having ploughed through a number of posts which amounted to little more than attempts at petty point scoring before I get to the nugget above, again I have to say I agree with Gent, and must say that I have made that specific point myself earlier in this thread.   I'm sorry if that sounds sycophantic.  It isn't meant to be, but I feel we are pretty much in tune on this thread.

I admire TH's loyalty to the Conservative party.  He sticks to his guns and in some respects that can be a good thing.  If I were David Cameron I would know that I could rely on his support no matter what.  

Many years ago, when I was serving alongside US Forces, a discussion came up about whether or not the first gulf war was justified.  The Americans amongst us had a saying:  "My country right or wrong."  What that meant was that, regardless of what they were told to do, they would do it without question  because the order ultimately came from the President of the USA and as such, the rightness or wrongness of the order was irrelevant.   I suppose it's another form of "Theirs is not to reason why....."

And so it is with many followers of this Conservative government.

I suppose it's a little unfortunate that in a discussion such as this, entrenched positions eventually lead everyone into going round in circles without the faintest hope of a consensus of opinion.

Consensus politics in Britain died when Margaret Thatcher came to power.  Since then it has become all about spin, manipulation, statistics (preceded by:  "Lies, damned lies and....) and rhetoric.  Neither party has been innocent in that regard.  New Labour had the Prince of Darkness.  David Cameron gave Andy Coulson a job.

What we have in Britain at this time is a populist first term Prime Minister who wants what all populist first term Prime Ministers want.... a second term.   And he doesn't care what he has to do to get it.

He has pinned his entire strategy for re-election on convincing the people that his party and leadership is the only thing that stands between us and utter penury.   The corollary of this (according to him) is that whatever must be done, must be done no matter who suffers.  It's all for "the greater good".

Some of us disagree with that.

What we end up with is a clash of ideologies.  On the one hand we have a moderate, centre-leftist option that says the role of the State is to serve the people, and then attempts to conduct itself as such, with all the inherent difficulties that that entails.  

The alternative option is to put ourselves at the mercy of an increasingly hard-line right wing group  whose doctrine is to abrogate all responsibility for the welfare of the people and implement policies that will serve only the interests of business in the (vain, I believe) hope that they will be beneficent and compassionate employers.

Who do you trust..?


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Post by The Fourth Lion on Mon 09 Dec 2013, 10:48 pm

Hero wrote:My eldest sister in law is 41 and she's not worked a day in her life.
She has three children from three fathers, the eldest aged 15 has cerebral palsy yet he himself has never let it affect him and is an incredibly bright young man, expected to get excellent grades and plays every week in a brass band, his mother though due to his disability has had her front garden for 3 bed semi in Bollington (a well sought after village outside Macclesfield) flattened and landscaped for easy access for him. The two younger children have learning difficulties, not obviously due to the fact that she or her partner have never read a book with them and that they've just been plonked in front of the tv since birth, that the eldest aged six already gets to play Call of Duty and GTA5 with his dad. That a few months ago she was given a brand new people carrier to ferry her brood around and more importantly to take the latest baby maker about so he can offload the pirated DVDs and games he sells for income whilst he's in-between jail terms for stealing cars.
I don't know if the cutbacks have affected her income but before that she was on 42k per year with a free house and car so yes the scroungers are out there.


I take it that you have, as your civic duty demands, reported his criminal activities to the police so that they can arrest him and, if tried and found guilty, he will be sent back to prison.

You are clearly angered by this (alleged) activity and of course, if he really is selling pirated DVD's, that would be a form of copyright crime for which he would be liable to make restitution. This could very well lead, in turn, to him having his assets seized which would also penalise him materially as well as sending him back to chokey where you seem to me to make it quite clear you think he belongs.

I would have thought that a noble, upstanding citizen like yourself would be on the phone to the scuffers tout suite..!! They have confidential whistleblower lines these days. Your name would never be mentioned.

Just a thought.
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Post by Champagne_Socialist on Tue 10 Dec 2013, 5:07 am

Hero wrote:My eldest sister in law is 41 and she's not worked a day in her life.
She has three children from three fathers, the eldest aged 15 has cerebral palsy yet he himself has never let it affect him and is an incredibly bright young man, expected to get excellent grades and plays every week in a brass band, his mother though due to his disability has had her front garden for 3 bed semi in Bollington (a well sought after village outside Macclesfield) flattened and landscaped for easy access for him. The two younger children have learning difficulties, not obviously due to the fact that she or her partner have never read a book with them and that they've just been plonked in front of the tv since birth, that the eldest aged six already gets to play Call of Duty and GTA5 with his dad. That a few months ago she was given a brand new people carrier to ferry her brood around and more importantly to take the latest baby maker about so he can offload the pirated DVDs and games he sells for income whilst he's in-between jail terms for stealing cars.
I don't know if the cutbacks have affected her income but before that she was on 42k per year with a free house and car so yes the scroungers are out there.

But the benefits she received were intended for a child who had a disability. The garden re-done so that the disabled child could gain access to the house, and the car was to enable the disabled child to be transported around.

the benefits I highlighted were given so that the disabled child could try to live a better life, take away those benefits and the child would have difficulty travelling anywhere or gaining access to his own property.

not reading to the children or committing crime is a different matter really and is more an issue of crime and punishment then disability benefit for children.

If the father is selling illegal dvds then you should report him and tell the police your evidence (assuming you want him to get in trouble for it).

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