1.5 Billion? As Miserable Old Fart recently posted there is avast difference in what we mean my a billion as he says.
My understanding of the word billion is that it is the number that is represented as a one followed by nine zeros in American, but the number that is represented as a one followed by twelve noughts in English; a thousand million in the USA, but a million on this side of the pond.
Even if we were to accept the American version. Where do the figures come from?
According to an official Treasury forecast, benefits will cost £170.9 billion (again English or American?) in 2010/11 . That’s the total benefit bill.
So if the system for calculating is the same billion then this is still a huge amount number but how do they know how many are cheating? and how many who made mistakes in their claims, have lost out on the benefit they actually should have been awarded? How many "Billions" is that?
Those found to have defrauded the system three times may be barred from claiming benefits for several years or even life. However, it is understood that the ban will only be applied to organised fraudsters, not those making "mistakes" or those with families. How many organised fraudsters are there?
Official figures show that no one has ever been convicted three times of benefit fraud. Only about 70 people have been convicted twice. So where does the £1.5 Billion come from?
It is clear to me that this announcement has come in order to give the impression that we are in this financial mess.
- Not because of greedy Bankers but because people are scrounging of the state.
- Not because people like of recent government advisor Phillip Green who "legally" exploits Tax loopholes and has parked hundreds of millions in Monaco. but because people have made mistakes on their benefit forms
- Or government advisor Martin Sorell who has moved his advertising company WPP offshore in order to avoid tax. But because of people living off benefits who don't want to work.
- Or one of the UK biggest tax dodgers KPMG’s Sir Mike Read ( another government advisor there's a pattern here) Whose has used his knowledge to cheat the system. But people using the benefits system.
It used to be that n order to hide their own responsibility governments would place the blame on minority or immigrant groups now it seems the blame for the failure of unfettered capitalism which got us in this mess but of which virtually no action has been taken, falls on the unemployed no matter how honest they are.