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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 May 2013

Con-Dems' benefit fact fraud

Ben Golightly

A survey carried out by the TUC earlier this year revealed that people believe, on average, that 27% of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently.

This is thanks to lies peddled by the right-wing media and politicians. DWP preliminary estimates released on 9 May show that the true figure is closer to 0.7%.

Disability benefits have the lowest rates of fraud. Estimated rates for Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance are 0.3% and 0.5% respectively (10 million and 70 million).

Fraud rates for the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) are not yet measured directly, but applying the DWP's estimated fraud rate for all "unreviewed" benefits to ESA expenditure gives a figure of 68 million.

The combined cost of fraud across these three benefits is approximately 148 million in total.

Atos Healthcare, the private company responsible for assessing disabled people claiming benefits, has a contract worth 400 million.

Clearly welfare reform has everything to do with slashing billions of pounds from the welfare bill and handing juicy contracts to big business.

The TUC survey revealed that support for benefit cuts was "dependent on ignorance".

Those who know the least about welfare were the most hostile. Support for the benefit cap rapidly turned into majority opposition when it was explained how it would affect low-paid workers.

The demonization of benefits claimants can be cut across if we had a mass workers' party willing to argue the case.

But the Labour Party is completely complicit in the scapegoating of benefit claimants.

The Socialist Party is working with others in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to stand up against the cuts.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 15 May 2013:


Fight the bedroom tax

Axe the killer tax: End the bedroom tax now

Bedroom tax non-implementation


Socialist Party news and analysis

Give us jobs, not Tory lies

Stop the health cuts!

Fat cat tax-dodging: 200 lorry loads of lolly!

Con-Dems' benefit fact fraud

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Japan's 'Abenomics'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

TUSC builds support in Leicester byelection

Swansea's food bank for students

British government supports murderous Sri Lankan regime

Socialist Party meeting against cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Gloves off in Mid Yorks hospital battle

Brighton bin workers fight pay cuts - this time from the Greens

Wales TUC: no fight against austerity

Unison leader 'gets it wrong' over action on pay

PCS conference 20-23 May

One Housing

Workplace news in brief


Reader's comment

Letter to the Tories who tell me to 'work hard and strive'


Socialist history

When mass action defeated Thatcher's poll tax

Yeadon Mill strike 1913


 

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Related links:

Benefits:

triangleKeep the Universal Credit uplift

triangleTories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers

triangleLong Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

triangleA fighting programme for women's rights and socialism

trianglePoverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Welfare:

trianglePoverty increasing. Welfare state in crisis. Do we need a new Beveridge Report?

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleWelfare after Covid-19

triangleEven social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

Disability:

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Disability, neurodivergency, and the left

triangleCapitalism discriminates against us - Disabled people fighting for our rights

triangleCripTales: A painful reflection of a system that pits us against each other

Claimants:

triangleFilm: 'Sick' - 'They've got people looking in the wrong direction'

trianglePCS: No to DWP management's plans - Yes to action

Cuts:

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts: Fightback needed

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