As a local councillor I'm delighted that the council has just prosecuted yet another benefit fraudster. In this case an unemployed woman claimed over £6,000 in housing and council tax benefit before a sharp eyed council officer spotted a huge plasma TV through the window and a nearly new car in the drive. It turns out her partner had been living in the house all the time. This is the fifth such case our single district has dealt with in the past few months - and people are getting away with this up and down the country. I don't think the courts are nearly tough enough - yet again this woman has got away with a spell of community service.
Benefit fraud makes me livid. It's stealing. Stealing from every one of us who pay our tax each month. I loathe paying tax anyway, every time I look at my payslip I wonder where has all that money has gone? It wouldn't be so bad if I really believed that the money was giving children a fantastic education, making sure a doctor will be there when I need them or even given to those who really need it. But the idea that it has just been siphoned off into some fraudsters pocket is just too much.
Last year the government lost £2.5 billion in frauds and errors. Frighteningly the amount lost in frauds (that we know about) was only £690 million of that amount. The rest was all due to "errors". It's my money, your money and is not working.