Sunday, May 13, 2007

Benefits and cheats

As I wandered to the cigarette shop this evening, I saw, on the back of a bus, an advertisement which read as follows...
Benefit cheats have their hands in your pockets.

Well, yes, this is true; benefit cheats are indeed scamming the money of hardworking taxpayers. However, it is also worth reminding ourselves of who takes that money in the first place—a projected £190 billion for 2007/08—and who runs systems so lax and inefficient that it allows for such cheating, i.e. the fucking government.

One of the main problems, of course, is that the benefits system is ludicrously complicated. Like the tax system, it needs to be severely simplified. The simpler the system, the more difficult it is to defraud and, just as importantly, the easier it is for the government to spot that fraud.

Besides, if those famous posters are to be believed, the problem is, in the main, that people are working whilst still claiming benefits.

The solution should be obvious: the Citizens' Basic Income. This system cuts fraud at a stroke, because one of the central tenets of the idea is that people are still entitled to the CBI when they have a job. So no fraud and, incidentally, a considerable cut in the amount of money spent on advertising to encourage us to shop benefit cheats.

9 comments:

Kit said...

"So no fraud..."
Rubbish. Just as hundreds of thousands of Scots disappeared during the poll tax, millions will magical appear to claim CBI.
You will need ID cards and intrusive access into everyone's lives. Whatever happened to small government?
There is a reason why Polly likes the idea.

googler said...

If you simplify the whole system then hundreds of thousands of government employees will be made redundant!

Great idea.

Anonymous said...

I find your new revamped webpage less easy to read with the two different colours dividing the page of text.

James said...

Kit said:

"Rubbish. Just as hundreds of thousands of Scots disappeared during the poll tax, millions will magical appear to claim CBI.
You will need ID cards and intrusive access into everyone's lives. Whatever happened to small government?
There is a reason why Polly likes the idea."

Can you explain your reasoning behind this statement as I don't understand it?

DK, love the new layout - you can't please everyone.

David said...

I have an even simpler idea. No State hand outs at all.

Roger Thornhill said...

CBI does make sense from the point of simplicity but I have not seen (but interested to see) ideas on how to control identity synthesis without DNA records to prevent duplication.

ID theft is simple enough to catch (i.e. your payments go awol) but who is to say someone does not collect CBI from multipe IDs.

As to working while claiming, to me that is a convenient diversion and pandering to the Mailistas. The real problem is the fact that the "safety net" has become a hammock comfortable enough to be born into, live and raise the next generation.

ENGLISHMAN said...

And why are none of our "british countrymen" never featured in these advertisements,just how does a corner shop owner afford a half million pound house?

Sisyphus said...

Worth pointing out the obvious - that 'the work shy benefit cheats' only account for a small percentage of UK spending on welfare, a fact that the mass media usually ignore when reporting on this topic.

Go here http://www.mediahell.org/costofthings.htm for some (somewhat out of date) stats.

And The Devil already knows that I support a CBI :-)

Robert said...

I'm in favour of these benefit cheats. If it wasn't for pick-pockets, I would have no sex life.

There was an interesting piece on the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent last week, about a county in the US that has abolished welfare. Instead, all their welfare spending goes on super job centres that find people work. The scheme is actually quite good at finding prople long term employment... but there is no actual reduction in welfare spending. But those in favour argue that this is better, since people have a greater self esteem. I will look for the link, but the BBC search facility is rubbish.