The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns?

Today January 3 2014 is the official start of the latest Divide & Rule Strategy from the boys at DWP; Freud is the spokesman of this new ‘softer’ approach to the proven futile Benefit Fraud Campaign.

So how is the latest ‘reinvention going to differ – there are 6 pilot areas with “posters, newspaper adverts, Facebook adverts and letters to claimants – urging people to report suspected benefit fraud or changes to their circumstances”; it seems at a quick glance this campaign is aimed at ensuring claimants understand what they need to report to DWP and when – not much wrong with that then? Until you look at the second example which is the same old rhetoric – report anyone you don’t like/is on benefits/you don’t ‘believe is disabled etc to DWP and all for FREE – yes one of the few 0800 Numbers the DWP still has is… to enable any vigilante wannabe!!

Before anyone decides I’m arguing we live in a perfect world where nobody ever tries to cheat I ask you to investigate the ‘Facts‘ (as we have them) around this –

  • 0.7%, or £1.2 billion, of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to fraud
  • 0.9%, or £1.6 billion, of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to claimant error
  • 0.4%, or £0.7 billion, of total benefit expenditure is overpaid due to official error

Interestingly these are ALL ‘estimates’ for 2012/14, it also must be noted these ‘estimates’ have remained relatively static since 2005!

Even the DWP admit “It is only a small minority who commit fraud” Freud 03/01/2014; so surely these campaigns, which given the fairly constant level of estimated fraud don’t work, seem to be a case of overkill? That is unless you take a slightly more cynical view of the whole situation – If the Government was truly concerned with fraud,  wouldn’t a different, more efficiently way of managing it, have been designed by now; and, wouldn’t we have actual statistics, rather than than over 8 years of  ‘around £1 billion’  estimates??

Isn’t it just as likely that All governments consider the level of concern and worry ‘fraud’, and other associated anti-social, or even illegal behaviours people are often coerced into create amongst the public, a small price to pay from the overall national budget? The anxiety and anger such actions create, offers Politicians another ‘reason’ to continue utilising psychological coercion as a way to manage us, the people. While the Government can cause individuals to mistrust their neighbours. colleagues, friends, or even family, repeatedly using the same message year on year –  how so many others ‘cheating’ the system are the real reasons our Taxes, bills, mortgages are so high; surely they’ll continue to do so? It’s so much easier to continue manipulating the system to benefit those who have the most power, and therefore £; when the majority believe their personal resources are limited, because their peers are deceitful.

Given all of the above I couldn’t help but wonder how much the DWP had spent on these campaigns over the past 3+ years, and how much the budget for this latest reinvention is; to this end I posted a FOI request this morning – I’ll keep you posted. Until then, when you read in the press or the on internet, hear on the radio or watch on TV how around £1 billion has been ‘lost’ in the past year because other people are ‘cheating’; stop and think is this the is the same £1 billion that’s been lost for the past 8 years or more??

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51 thoughts on “The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns?

  1. The biggest danger with this ‘tell on others’ approach is the lack of intelligence and imagination on the part of others. I have just commented on another blog post that worse ‘than the pain…is the rush to judgement of others. I was once outside in my wheelchair during a theatre interval. When I crossed my legs, I could hear the disparaging comments of a group of people nearby who clearly considered I was faking it. After all, how can you cross your legs if you’re disabled. Well, listen here, people: paralysis isn’t the only disability that requires a wheelchair.’

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    • I too have two chronic health problems which are both variable and cause me to need a wheelchair. I have been advised by the physios & consultants to try to remain mobile, so popping across the road (literally) to the news agents is done without chair. In supermarkets or getting around outdoors I need the chair. Without it, after 20+ meters I am in extreme pain, which lasts for days, leaving me totally exhausted and unable to walk at all. But if I bump into neighbours in the supermarket or town centre or dog walks when in my chair, they may think I am a fraud. It’s the East German stasi (secret political police) that excelled at having every person in society to be informants, for free.

      The more serious impact is that anyone suspected of fraud – even if falsely accused – has all benefits stopped immediately. This counts as a change of circumstances for DLA, and even if found not to be a fraud it automatically triggers a reassessment under PIP rules, whatever your DLA situation, and also IB to ESA if they are also claimed. This has the outcome of enormous stress, penury, and in the best case scenario months without any income while the re-assessments drag on. Worst case scenario, will involve an appeal, also with all benefits stopped, and if won then the reassessments, followed by total loss of support, and being found “fit to work”.

      They really do want to kill the disabled. A single free phone call can now kill your disabled neighbour. So much easier than doing it yourself & getting a life sentence but the best desired behaviour and outcome for IDS and the DWP thugs.

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      • As usual we want to put people in boxes. We want to let people think that all our taxes pay for disabled people to have benefits they are not entitled to. If we take time to think about this how insulting to our intelligence is it. My husband worked all his life and paid his taxes but when diagnosed with secondary progressive MS he had to jump thorough hoops to get benefits. To top this the department dealing with his claim were useless. 12yrs on they have decided they made a mistake calculating his money and want to claim back £35,000 …where do they think we can get this from? If they want to save money they need to get their own house in order then they would save millions!!

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      • Please get some good advice on the over-payments. This can be fought, and go and see your MP eyeball to eyeball for his help.

        Aside from this terrible burden the repayments scam has caused, I’m sure that your experience of the DWP in claiming benefits is the norm. The IDS vilification of those who apparently were able to claim IB with only filling in a form and waiting for the riches to roll in were totally fictitious and yet remained parroted by the media, so creating today’s stereotype of the fraudulent benefit claimant.

        I know that like many others, I would love to go back to my exceptionally well paid job, but I’m too ill. I would love to be able to pop into town for a girlie browse and coffee, perhaps a meal out, but I have to get a carer to take me out & push the wheelchair. Why all this crap about us as frauds living the life of comfort and luxury has stuck is beyond me, but does illustrate the strength and power of the govt. propaganda.

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  2. The other thing to consider is that there is likely to be a large number of people who claim Working Tax Credit, as they are not been paid enough in their job. Perhaps if companies paid people the required living wage, then the number of people claiming it would go down. Also, I don’t see much change (bar the MP’s pay rise), in the number of MP’s claiming expenses, not just in sizable amounts, but for frugal things.

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  3. Just what I need another way for my druggie neighbour to attack me for not wanting their gangster rap played to my children or their dope smoke in my garden when my kids play. Just fantastic, life is hard enough without another round of fighting with the DWP!
    M.E n Fibro is tuff enough without this appalling government handing tools out for the scumbags of this world to use to attack the sick and frail in the name of stamping out fraud.
    I bet they waste more money investigating malicious, untrue reports than they loose to real fraud!?!
    Just the worst government this nation has ever ever had, so sad to see such a great country destroyed by so few after so many died to protect it!!!

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  4. Pingback: The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns? | Jay's Journal

  5. Re-blogged on Jay’s Journal and commented:
    You have to ask yourself, how much has IDS wasted on the Welfare Budget just by himself?

    Don’t fall for this governments latest discrimination against the poor. And remember, the large group of benefit claimants are actually working, but are being so badly paid that they need top up payments to try and survive!

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  6. Pingback: The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns?...

  7. Great piece Jayne. I think an even more fundamental agenda is the never-ending quest of capitalism, to increase the ‘precariousness’ of the workforce … which lowers wages and increases profits. The attacks on benefit receivers is the same tactic as the class bully – the plight of the victim frightens the others into being controlled.

    ‘Precariousness of work’ is an agenda which also underpins the increasingly punitive rules for immigrant labour; the reason for the free flow of labour across the EU; the lack of gov’t investment in creating work; the 1m+ youth unemployment; zero hours contracts; benefit sanctions; workfare; the de-skilling of apprenticeships; the cutting of public services and their provision; the attacks on teachers/unions; employment protection etc. Added to which is a complete lack of empathy and a desire to return to the good old days of the 1830s/1330s when there were no such ‘barriers to trade’.

    ‘Given all of the above I couldn’t help but wonder how much the DWP had spent on these campaigns over the past 3+ years, and how much the budget for this latest reinvention is; to this end I posted a FOI request this morning’ is a brilliant idea!!

    xx

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  8. Of course successive governments over the last 25/35 years have payed the divide and rule game very successfully. This one more than any other with their Fascist policies supporting the Genocide perpetrated by Ian Duncan Smith. Recently, a Spanish friend sent me a document regarding the activities of DWP investigators in Spain, they were successful a team of 30 each one staying in a 4-5 star hotel @ around £150 per night 10 rental cars at around £50 per day, leave flights monthly @ £200 per person, laundry, food, telephones, office facilities, advertising etc etc. over an 8 month period they caught 50 suspected fraudsters prosecuted only 9 with five being convicted, with fines totaling under £3500, none were imprisioned, of the 50 suspects, 36 had benefits reinstated in full and many received compensation albeit after legal intervention, cost to the taxpayer around £2,500,000. This was a PR exercise designed to encourage ex-pats to shop each other. The tactics employed by this bunch of self seeking lazy lying cheating slobs is the same, divide and conquer. Whilst they continue to destroy our NHS, take our money, destroy our quality of life,allow us to be ripped of by energy companies in which many of them have shares. We need to get control of government and they need to be wary of us.

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  9. Here we go again. Let’s attack the feckless unemployed. The sick, lame and lazy.
    Don’t forget the Mentalists, the Nutter’s and the Freaks, Feeble Minded and the Morally Deviant Single Mother. And very, very soon the Old Age Pensioners.
    “Look Out He’s In A Wheelchair, He/She Has A Vacant Look He Must Be Mad, On Drugs Or Drunk. Next He Will Be Inside Our Pockets Looking to steal “Our Hard Earned Worked For Money”. Let’s Put Him In A Place Where We Will Be Safe From Him. He May Even Die If We Treat Him badly enough, That Will Teach Him a Lesson He Won’t Ever Forget”

    Let’s attack anyone but the people who got us into this mess in the first place. Let’s resume the demonization of the weakest in this wonderland of political utopia. Let’s get one figure higher that will make a difference. Let’s make suicide a viable alternative. Now that will make a difference and cost us “nothing governor”. Now that’s a real return to true core conservative values.
    We have squeezed them until the pips squeak, what next ?, “oh yes we have a solution it’s tried tested and really works, been around for as long as anyone can remember and will be all that is required and be true to our true blue political ideology”,
    Now we need a name, what about the DWP solutions. No sound too much like a government department. What about “mortem sibi conscivit solution” a nice Latin word that the sniveling upper class will understand, maybe, well maybe not. What about words that the ones who were being “Jolly well rogered by the prefects” and missed Latin classes. Well ok I’ve got it, silly me it has had a name all along, great let’s go with this.
    FINAL AND UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE SOLUTION.
    It will be jolly well acceptable the shorten it to
    “THE FINAL SOLUTION”
    To save ink and for the snivelers in the Born to rule class to remember.
    Now that sounds like a spiffing idea, don’t ya’r know!
    I like many others because of mental and physical illnesses and the constant bullying from the “snouts in the trough inbred ruling political classes” have nothing more to give and we are at the end of our metaphorical ropes.
    Many like myself despite overwhelming evidence from doctor’s reports and other medical professional opinions are routinely dismissed as if they were liars, cheats, scroungers, work shy, criminals, malingers, need I go on any further, you get the picture painted by the tw** at the Department of Benefit Denial. (DBD)
    It is the not being believed that is the worst pain imaginable to anyone who has the misfortune to be dragged through “the system”. As we try as best we can to explain our illness, but it soon becomes apparent that whatever evidence is produced the final outcome has already been decided by monetary policy, Denial is now the norm alongside a total lack of compassion. At every turn of a news page we are pilloried by a press and government who are in terminal moral panic and decline. We are now, as one of the many groups suffering from the backlash of hate stirred up by the tory protagonists, are becoming very afraid and see death ether by lack of care or by our own hand as our only viable alternatives.
    It only takes one letter or phone call from the DWP or comment from press or government indoctrinated individuals to push us over the ultimate cliff. Believe me I have been there myself on many occasions and only by my own ineptitude am able to write this now.
    I was one told by a professional that to commit suicide was my choice if I thought it was the right thing to do and no one could stop me. Is doing the right thing what this eugenics led government want us to do for the good of the “Hard working tax paying families who get up early and trudge through the snow to get to work on a minimum wage zero hours contract”?
    If we don’t or can’t do the right thing will the government ultimately assist us? If we won’t do the right thing what then, will we see the UK’s own final solution implemented?
    We now have forced labor for the sick and disable via the insidious workfare by any other name. Denial of benefit using sanctions and Civil Penalty Notices without the right of hearing and applied by a decision maker on the flimsiest and pettiest of transgressions.
    We had until the late seventy’s Government Training & Rehabilitation Centers that by compulsory attendance under threat of denial of benefit, housing and removal of children into care. Forced the indoctrination of the unemployed into the so called ethics of work and hard labour.
    So as we now have the right mood in our country for the have and have not’s, the Skivers against the Strives, the ill versus able-bodied and the idle rich against the plebs. If we have the forced labor and the training camps is the ultimately the final solution not that far away.
    NOW THAT SOUND LIKE A MASTER PLAN
    Tommaz Jay
    Ashamed and frightened to be a member of the society that once cared and now wallows in its own putrid shit.

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  10. What the media chose to ignore, or simply don’t know, is what IDS team of baboons have done in the past to ASSIST benefit fraud. Over a period of two year, they effectively decimated the FIS (DWP Fraud Investigation Service) and assisted fraudulent claimant by destroying the relationship between FIS and the Police and restricting who could be investigated. I would guess that IDS department is indirectly responsible for 50% of the current fraud case (detected and undetected). Out of the 6 FIS investigators in my office, 5 senior staff transferred to other jobs due to the policies of IDS. Should you wish specific information about the above, please do not hesitate to ask. I was a Manager with the DWP for 10 years until I had to medically retire on ESA two years ago. Ian Robertson

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  11. One way this nasty little campaign could be turned around is to report all misuse of DWP monies and public funds. Examples include false WCAs wasting thousands in reconsideration, tribunal, health professional and hardship costs; work programme providers falsely claiming outcome fees; employers using forced unpaid labour instead of paid employees at the taxpayers’ expense.

    The grassing-up form itself is horribly intrusive- asking for physical description, phone numbers, children, partners, car registration and much more. Possibly enough to be grounds for defamation if someone falsely accused gains access to the information?

    Wishing everyone a happy and secure 2014; here’s hoping we’re in the dark before the dawn xx

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  12. Read the book ‘Snakes in Suits’ – it’s a fascinating read about Psychopaths and how they manipulate their way up the Corporate ladder (by lying, lying some more, lying to cover up previous lies, manipulating, creating smear campaigns to divide and conquer and how eventually they bring down companies and even countries. That’s what we are up against here in the U.K. – we have a bunch of Psychopaths running our country and it can only get worse for us, not better. The ONLY way we are to survive is to demand that David Cameron (the top-dog Psychopath) call a general election NOW. We cannot wait until 2015! What about Politicians who commit Fraud? What about large companies such as Tesco and Amazon and Atos (yes, Atos) who haven’t paid any Tax? Isn’t that Fraud? Knowingly not paying what is owed? This Tory government needs to go and it needs to go NOW!

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  13. It can happen to anybody. It has happened to me three times, I was reported for working illegally… I have never done, and would never do so.
    Once I was actually working and not even claiming any benefits… (Except working tax credit to which I was entitled!)
    Twice I was doing a few hours voluntary work. The last time was 2007 for LJWB. Thank goodness Labour was in power then, and in those days you were innocent until proven guilty! I simply needed to get a letter of proof from the charities I was helping, though I still don’t understand why someone would take the time to lie about me! Robin, the man from then DHSS who telephoned me, said not to worry, it happened all the time, and he put a note on my account to say that I was the victim of a malicious rumour.

    In fact this happens to many people, the vast majority of whom are completely innocent or is a victim of a misunderstanding.
    NOW, ALL INCOME IS STOPPED WITH ONE PHONE CALL OR LETTER. WHETHER WELL-MEANING, VINDICTIVE, or MALICIOUS.

    There are the few families on benefits because their parents and neighbours were, and their parents and their neighbours were, and they know nothing different. These minorities are the families that are paraded on the news, as if to say everyone, every family, on benefits are the same, of course they’re not.
    It doesn’t matter whether your company folded in the global crash, or your public service has been closed, or you’ve been made redundant, left school/university not able/skilled enough to compete for ever fewer jobs, have a long-term illness, are disabled, or for whatever reason, are existing on poverty line benefits, no one would knowingly choose this life, if an alternative was available.
    You and your family HAVE to reapply/be reassessed/Appeal for each separate benefit individually, from scratch, and each takes months.
    You can’t pay your bills, you and your children can’t eat, can’t afford to go to school, can’t afford to spend 35 hours a week looking for work (so that when you’re found to be innocent and your benefit is reinstated, you have been sanctioned i.e. no money for between three months and three years…) you may be evicted for non payment of rent or mortgage, etc etc. Many families/individuals become homeless. This is happening now.
    Many people, often the disabled; and, because not all disabilities are visible, this includes cancer patients; die in the months before their appeals can be heard.
    This is the reality of living on the poverty line today. And it is wrong, why are we allowing this to happen?

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  14. Ah, think I shall be ringing the 0800 number on a regular basis and leaving my phone off the hook. Classic 80’s style dissent used against companies who treated staff unfairly yet advertised their wears on a free phone number! It does cost them even if free for us!

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  15. If they spent as much time and effort dragging tax evaders – estimates start at over 10x benefit fraud and error figures – they wouldn’t need cuts.

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  16. Pingback: Rubbish, mice and mould: good enough for young mums without money | Kate Belgrave

  17. Pingback: Rubbish, mice and mould: good enough for young mums without money

  18. Pingback: An Exercise in Social Control – The REAL Agenda behind Benefit Fraud Campaigns 3 – | jaynelinney

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