The benefit fraud stuff has been quickly brought out by condem government. Not a surprise but a quick look at some government statistics (admittedly a few years old but I see no reason why the ratios will have changed substantially) should help to put it in context.
Firstly, they are estimating that there is about 5 billion in benefit fraud every year. However, in years gone past there has been an e stimated 7 billion in benefits that were due but went unclaimed. Are they going to hunt these people down to give them their money? Doubt it.
Secondly, from various sources here is a list I compiled a couple of years ago when Neo-Labour were doing the same thing: the list is about where most fraud goes on.
- Corporate tax avoidance: 85
- Business fraud: 14
- Government fraud in Whitehall: 5
- Tobacco smuggling: 3.5
- VAT fraud on mobile phones: 2.5
- Total welfare fraud:0.7bn (thiswas the governments figure for 2005/6. It is possible that there is another billionor so in overpayments)
- Jobseekers Allowance fraud: 0.19
- Bulldozer smuggling: 0.15 (just left in here because it is a rather unexpected one.)
- Insurance fraud- Association of British Insurers claimed in 2006 that insurance fraud comes to about 1.5 billion a year.
I am not suggesting two wrongs make a right but I want to ask a few follow-up questions based on this info...
1. Do you think that the government will pursue corporate fraudsters as vigilantly as it will benefit fraudsters?(please consult evidence regarding whether they do or not)
2. If not, why not?
3. Is that now three wrongs?
4. Which of the two things (corporate or benefit fraud) is the bigger exampleof naked greed?
5. If they are equivalent examples of greed should the criminals then be treated equally?
6. Does this happen?
Cartoon by the pleb