Friday, 2 December 2011

Feckless Parents - Oh IDS, you Tool!

Today, a headline in the Telegraph screams :


"Feckless parents would only spend extra benefits on themselves, says Iain Duncan Smith"


He goes on to argue that giving benefits to parents of children living in poverty is self defeating as it only re-enforces dependency, creating yet more of the "perverse incentives" this government are so convinced exist. 

Immediately, the entire country sees Wayne and Waynetta, blowing their cigarette smoke into a cot, spending their giros on cheap booze and a wrap or two of coke. Perhaps reclining in front of their 50" plasma screens with a nice cardboard pizza and a couple of tinnies. 

My HUUUUUGE issue with this kind of angle is the millions of "good" "hardworking" families who never had a fag in their lives. Never go on holiday. Never go to the cinema. Never have money for the school trips all the other kids go on. Many work, but their wages still do not insure them against poverty. 

All the while politicians just see an amorphous mass of scallies, all the time they allow headlines to reinforce their prejudice, we will continue to see "scrounger" headlines, continue to see rising hate crime and division.

Presumably, ministers will continue to be "perplexed" at just why the media print things in the way that they do. 

53 comments:

  1. Presumably, politicians and Media commentators will continue to be perplexed by things like the riots when people who are continuously portrayed this way react badly.

    If all the media and leadership portrays you as a scrounger only out for what he can get, why should you act any different?

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  2. i nearly chocked on my tinnie when i read this, hold on a minute why i light up another fag. See to the baby hun i cant pick him up with this fag and beer in my hand. Yep everyone who reads the latest comment by IDS will think thats all people do on benefits no doubt perfect plan IDS. Now have to go got to tune in my 50" plasma get us another beer hun.

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  3. oh and ur right sue what a tool

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  4. 'The DWP refused to release data validating the claim, instead directing enquirers to a search of the Daily Mail and the Sun newspaper websites' this quote is taken from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/01/coalition-misleading-housing-benefit?CMP=twt_gu this article and basically when fullfact and the telegraph was trying to find the source of the figures quoted re housing benefit this is where the dwp directed them. The department is a joke. They leak inaccurate information and sometimes downright lies to the tabloid press then say they didnt and then guide proper investigative journalists and fact checkers to go to the tabloids to get 'accurate' information!

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  5. Well said Sue.

    IDS did a TV interview about his "welfare reforms" a few months back. The interviewer gave him a hard time and left him flushed, sweating and looking pretty shifty. His closing comment was, "I've been working on this for years." Having spent all that time, I find it worrying that he still demonstrates no understanding of what it is like to claim and try to exist on any type of benefit. I've come to the conclusion that the Conservatives (and IDS in particular) have a pathological hatred of the most vulnerable in society. This would explain their continued classification of all benefit claimants as "feckless scroungers".

    The government continues to rig the system with the aim of making it impossible for anyone to claim anything, on the grounds of not qualifying because you're not really sick or you have too much money, etc. When it comes to their own pay, perks, pensions and expenses though, they never say, "I have enough money to pay for this myself, so I won't claim.".

    We are saddled with a political class (wealthy by inheritance and with no experience of the real world) that believes it has a right to power and to use that power for it's own advancement and enrichment and their sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

    I would say it makes me sick, but I'm not allowed to be, am I?!

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  6. IDS must be In Dire Straits
    to have to continue making these ridiculous comments.

    Intelligence Deficit - Severe

    What an Idiotic Drivel Spewer, Insensitive Draconian Scoundrel, Illness Denier Supreme...

    I Diss Scroungers, I Desperately Sound-off,
    I Disseminate Slander and Immorally Destroy Society

    Think he's In Deep Shit.

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  7. On the telly the other day, Kenneth Clarke said, with a smile no less, that he perceives the winter fuel payments that he gets but does not need, as a tax rebate! Hurrah for the Tories! Aren't they the lucky ones?! They get to keep their benefits, why can't we keep ours....?

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  8. You would have thought that IDS would be pleased by benefit recipients using alcohol and nicotine-both paying taxes and shortening their lives-a win win for the "thoroughly decent" IDS.

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  9. What goes around comes around I know this too be true for I’ve seen this for myself happen to one soul or two.

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  10. The thing that shocks me about this stuff is that so many families are falling into poverty right now. People who were doing okay before - who maybe do have a big telly or had a holiday last year, but who are now really struggling. And the Tories speak about everyone on benefits as if it's a lifestyle thing.

    I wanted to blog about this myself, but couldn't really contain my rage. Well done.

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  11. Oh, that hackneyed old phrase 'hard working families'...I'm sick of hearing about them! What if you live alone, what if you're not fanatically hard-working, you just do your job and prefer to work a few less hours than God sent because - gasp - you've a hobby, or want to visit a friend, or have a lie-in...you know, life-type things.
    I've never heard such pompous drivel being used to take money off poor kids. Perhaps IDS's lecture will help with the parents' winter fuel bill and rising food costs.

    I am literally ashamed to be British at the moment. I've not seen this level of callous inhumanity since Thatcher.

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  12. So his comments make no sense at all??? I just don't get why you cannot accept that there are feckless parents and they need to be confronted. It's not all about the sick and disabled, it's about tackling the larger problem of the benefit culture. Why should someone only work 16 hours a week, and have his rent paid and then work on the side, whilst I have to work full time and then he has more disposable income than me? A lot of hard working people are sick of the injustices and we expect something to be done about it. I don't want to deprive anybody of essentials but when you have generations of the same family on benefits, with no hope or aspiration, should we just accept it or should we demand that the problem is sorted out. I see people on benefits in the supermarket buying ready meals...I make all my own meals, why can't they? We have people who need help to bring up their children, help to feed them and clothe them and help with just basic parenting...how can this be, how have we encouraged this? The answer is Labour! Sick and disabled I have time for but not the lazy and I think you'll find we have more on the lazy side.

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  13. Anonymous ~ 17:38, you nor Iain Duncan-Smith have not at all demonstrated the existence of a 'benefit culture'.

    If it existed, there would be a very clear statistical signal. Ministers know this, so they go out of their way to fiddle the figures week in, week out and they keep getting caught out, but you won't read of it in the newspapers.

    We'd accept the contention of a 'benefit culture' just fine if any evidence were produced of it. But there hasn't been any; just one dodgy misreported story after another that the knuckle-draggers of this country swallow without a modicum of scepticism.

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  14. So you've never met the man I described who works 16 hours a week? I have and was not impressed when he bragged about his ability to rip me off. You've not seen the hoards of families who are content to rip off the country? I live in Hastings...I see all of it on a regular basis, I am upset that my taxes go to pay to keep these people going. Do I not have the right to be upset? I have worked all of my working life, my sister hasn't and received benefits. She has a boy of 23 who chooses not to work... seems to me benefit culture does happen! Sorry, but it does exist. I'm not trying to say sick and disabled people should not be supported but please try and see our side too. I read this blog daily as my parents have mobilty issues and quite frankly I've been upset recently at the attack on "tax payers" by a lot of commenters. We are not the enemy, but we are sick of supporting people who could support themselves if it wasn't so easy not to. Unfortunately you guys are being caught in the crossfire!

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  15. Also, I'm not very happy to be referred to as a knuckle-dragger! I don't swallow any of the sh*t that the media try to influence me with, in fact most of the time I don't even read the crap they spout. I am educated and I work hard, I understand the difference between sick and lazy and I am happy to give to those more unfortunate than myself. I also see injustices and get upset!

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  16. "I read this blog daily as my parents have mobilty issues and quite frankly I've been upset recently at the attack on "tax payers" by a lot of commenters. We are not the enemy." Point out one specific instance of Sue saying that tax-payers are the enemy, or that people who can work and do work hard are doing something bad. I don't think I've seen one and I'll be shocked if you can point one out.

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  17. Anonymous - it's 'hordes', not 'hoards', unless you're secretly keeping these families in your cupboards. Wouldn't normally pull someone up but you did mention your education as a point in your favour. You've obviously swallowed the same old divide and rule tactic always used by those in power. Anecdotal evidence doesn't quite cut it, try harder, or even hoarder, next time.

    Anyway, class war, anyone?

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  18. I never said that Sue had said anything like that. Re-read the comment again "the attack on "tax payers" by a lot of commenters". "Commenters" being the operative word...I could trawl through the comments to find you examples but quite honestly don't have the time. For me to have noticed them means that as far as I'm concerned they were there and made unpleasant reading. I am not against you, please don't be against me. Understand that there is a problem with the lazy not the sick, that's all I'm asking.

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  19. thats what you get with predictive text...sometimes it catches you out!! I'm not trying to fight you, why the animosity? Seriously, I do wonder why I bother working at all...let's let the country go to the dogs and we'll all suffer. I do feel as if I am the enemy now, take a pop whenever you feel like it, I can cope. I am educated and I do work hard...apparently that is not enough! I've not been rude to anyone, why do you feel the need to attack me?

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  20. Anonymous : I do get it, really I do. I don't think you're wrong, I do think there are people who prefer/choose not to work.

    My big problem with IDS statement was the word "feckless" you can make the same point without implying that ALL poor people are feckless.

    The next time I hear him talk with compassion about the workers trying their best but not earning enough, I promise I'll write a post about it. My problem is that such a casual disregard for poverty makes it seem that all those living in poverty are "feckless"

    I'm sure you are a sensible, reasonable person, the problem is many aren't and all they EVER hear about are the wasters. Makes life very tricky indeed for those trying their best.

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  21. There's nothing lazier than IDS's thinking

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  22. Honestly, there's so much of the "I'm miserable, so I want everyone else to be miserable and work hard along with me" I guess the Divide and Conquer must be working a treat.

    I've a better idea; how about joining the protests as the cuts are unfair and unjust? Fighting for a proper living wage? Supporting Robin Hood Tax? Demanding that those on the top take some of the pressure off rather than those of us on the bottom ripping each other apart...because THAT is the problem here.

    The "problem with the lazy" you're referring to here is all well and good - we get it, some people are working the system; but our issue is that there are lot more people suffering as a result of this. Disability hate crime is tripling; the fraud rate of disability fraud figures at .5%, but these cuts are going to cut 20% of people who claim - that means 19.5% LEGITIMATE CLAIMANTS are going to lose their benefits. Read that again. 19.5%. Legitimate. Claimants.

    If you "know a man", then report it. However do not assume because you've been bombarded by all the "scrounger/saint" rhetoric that the numbers are as astronomical as is being claimed. If the Powers That Be evading paying their taxes were forced to pay up, we would be in the clear. But...of course it's much easier to get us all into the "us-vs-them" mentality.

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  23. Thing is, Anonymous, IDS's attack is wholly wrong and wholly unsubstantiated in terms of the wider context. It's lazy and targeted at causing division as the govt is scared that the more united we all are, the worse it will be for them.

    Of course there are bludgers, I've worked in housing for 15 years and they exasperate me as well. But they are not the whole story and I wouldn't dream of using individuals examples I've come across to support such a ridiculous and damaging statement as made by IDS. It will only serve for people to become even more suspicious and cynical and enable the meme of the 'deserving and undeserving poor' to become even more prevalent. It's 19thC rhetoric and it demeans all of us.

    No system is and will ever be perfect - there will always be people who try to play it to their advantage, but these continued attacks by the coalition aren't framed within that context, they're ideological, divisive and aimed at reducing the welfare state for everyone.

    Soz for harshness, but I do feel strongly about this as you may have guessed.

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  24. When I was in work and having NI taken from my pay packet I don't believe I ever questioned where that money was going. Certainly I wasn't grumbling that some 'feckless parents' were spending my taxes irresponsibly. Since the coalition came to power suddenly people are at each others throats with accusations, finger pointing and deep resentments. The only way this could have happened is because all this negativity about poor people has been splashed across the media fuelled by IDS amongst others.

    How can it be acceptable for one level of society to judge another simply because of the difference in their wealth? What ARE they doing for the poorest children? Asserting that their parents don't know how to look after them and will spend the money on themselves isn't helping. Funny, but they were saying the opposite after the riots, that these kids were SPOILED and too materialistic. FFS!

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  25. To anonymous.

    For all that you claim to have an open mind, you seem to have put yourself firmly on one side and all other commenters on another. ie you as a taxpayer and others not. You strongly make the point that you are educated and hardworking.

    Many people reading and commenting on this blog are disabled and many may claim some benefits but are just as educated (if not more), many work (or have worked in the past) while disabled and are taxpayers.

    The fact that your automatic assumption appears to be that they/we are benefit claimants, non tax payers, out of work, and possibly not as educated as you is disturbing.

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  26. The trouble with these cuts (and IDS knows this all too well) it's that they will not affect those that really play the system. But they will affect the people who don't. Not only that, but he also knows that the % of people who genuinely are playing the system is so low as to be costng very little anyway. These cuts are idealistic. They are conservative, capitalistic and plain wrong. They will affect ther vulnerable not the deviant and they get away with out by the divide and conquer tactic mentioned already. If you want to fight the people who rob you of your taxes you are looking for them in entirely the wrong place. We should be working together to right that theft of our taxes because believe me, it's a whole lot bigger.

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  27. (excuse the predictive text!). And yes I am a tax payer...

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  28. "all the time they allow headlines to reinforce their prejudice"

    Just go for it Sue and write "feed the headlines to reinforce their prejudice"

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  29. The reason IDS and David Cameron get away with what they say about the sick and disabled is because they day after day go unchallenged by their fellow mp's and opposition

    That and the lack of an educated press/BBC along with integrity leaves the likes of David Cameron and IDS in a clear position to say and do as they will with the sick and disabled and it will take someone very special indeed to halt them

    I most certainly would if i were able as i having nothing to lose i surely cant be the only one in the uk that could stand up to the pm and IDS ?
    Maybe i am oh well we will see over the coming months ?

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  30. Is it a case of creating a phrase that loses its meaning but gets into the public consciousness by repetition, a form of collective programming?
    Read these words and fill in the blanks yourself (which word utomatically pops into your mind?)
    1. Benefit.............yes but a few years it would have been claimant or recipient.
    2. Out of work people receive...............was it benefits you thought of or 'handouts'.
    3. Feckless.........?

    Not as daft as he looks, IDS, he and the headline writers are programming minds...I'm not that crazy. It worked in 1984. Anyone who hasn't read Orwell's novel recently - it's very interesting. And now it's government/tabloid policy.

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  31. I am everything IDS despises. I have 3 kids and I am unemployed. My oldest is 12 (born within a marriage) my middle child is 3, my youngest is 2. I was a bad girl and divorced the father of my oldest child. IDS doesn't like that kind of thing. He prescribes 'relationship advice' for that sort of thing, but the only advice that would have worked was 'get out of there!', my ex husband was a violent bully who attacked his own child when she was 12 months old, but people like IDS have punished myself and my daughter for escaping ever since. I am a lazy, feckless, irresponsible mother because I raised her by myself free of fear and violence. He would argue that I party all day and night and neglect my daughter, who he believes will amount to nothing, possibly become addicted to drugs and he once said daughters of single mothers end up as playthings for drug dealers and gang members (he really said that!). My two younger children were born within a long term relationship. I do not live with their father, which means I am yet again being feckless and irresponsible. We did live together once but the strain of his severe depression which increased during unemployment meant it was better for all of us to live apart. That means I am the lowest of the low. IDS firmly believes that my wonderful children will become criminals. He is adamant my son will become a drug dealing gang member (because only sons of single mothers deal drugs right?). His idea of a 'cure' for me, is for me to marry a rich man, although I will always be 'damaged goods'. If I don't I am doomed to poverty through impossible conditionality, expensive childcarees, low wag and constant demonisation through government policy and media manipulation.

    *sigh*

    I wish I did party all the time and have a string of men through my house but at 33 years old I'm too tired for all of that. After being the main caretaker of my kids all day I'm too shattered and skint to do anything except sit on this second hand, broken down laptop.

    IDS needs to visit my house sometime, try being me. See how he juggles the food bill, the heating bill and then try to find something for my daughters birthday tomorrow and if he's lucky something for all the kids for christmas.

    My daughter has a board game from the charity shop off me this year and I just printed her birthday card at home. I'm broke till monday and still have more money to pay out than I have coming in.

    But, giving me more money wont help me apparently. Free childcare wouldn't help, neither would a wage above minimum wage...if you believe what IDS says. Apparently poverty has nothing to do with lack of money.

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  32. while i agree with you sue that IDS' comments are fatuous i also take issue with what you say.i am on early medical retirement and am therefore not any longer "hard-working". i also smoke (will give up one day but i suffer from anxiety), am a parent and actually do work hard running my household eg i travel to shops and markets on the bus (i don't have a car)to save money on food despite painful arthritis. all my benefits and occupational pension go into the houseold budget. i buy my clothes from charity shops. my furniture is second-hand. i rarely go out. my "holidays" are going once a year to my sister's in my home town to see my elderly father on his birthday and to have a few days off from the continuos struggle of survival. incidentally there have been cuts to my already low housing benefit because my "non-dependant" daughter's contribution has tripled. i also lose in housing benefit what i get in my public sector pension (which i paid for out of 15 years salary). my fuel bill has just increased by 30%. like the person above, my laptop is falling to bits.so it's not just the "hard-working" and clean-living who deserve a better deal sue.

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  33. addition to above comment:
    i am educated - i have a first class degree gained when my eldest was a baby and i was in my twenties, i also studied two-thirds of a PhD (incomplete due to illness). sue you have middle class blinkers on

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  34. Sue, why are you being nice to this cretin?

    The troll seems to believe that being able to cite anecdotes of people that boast of cheating the system(not in itself evidence that they actually are; they can be idiots and believe they are gaming it when their claims are legitimate), is itself evidence of a 'benefit culture'. For it to be a culture it would have to be widespread and numerous in lots of different places and that can not possibly avoid having a statistical signature. John Humphrys' ridiculous programme a month ago tried repeatedly to demonstrate this existed and his basis was edited conversations with cherry-picked participants and he had already set-up the trap of 'entitlement' meaning a personal attitude so even simply stating the fact that a statutory benefit is an entitlement makes you a member of this 'culture'. You have entitlements when you get arrested, it doesn't make you a wet-liberal to acknowledge them: no one says "no I don't" after a copper reads out the caution.

    There is no statistical signature and few have tried harder than this government to find one where none exists. Our troll doesn't want to deal with the evidence of nationwide fraud so relies on unverifiable anecdotes and presumptions about my own experience when even a massive amount of personal exposure to benefit fraudsters would not give me any insight into it like the numbers do.

    The 'hard-working taxpayer' gambit is a tired cliche made by those for whom the height of suffering is working full-time and then seeing an unemployed person with a can of lager. It's a close cousin of 'Happy Cripple Syndrome' where they spot a person on DLA and/or IB-ESA having fun with friends and this provokes an uncontrollable rage that how dare these 'scroungers' have one day a week where they aren't crying from loneliness or washing their own blood or shit out their hair.

    The numbers matter because they don't change and can be checked. You can make up what ever story you like about personal circumstances and experiences, it doesn't mean anything and should not be the basis of national policy.

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  35. There appears to be another anon on here. I was the original "troll" as I've so nicely been labelled. I have not been malicious, I have just described what I see. I have 3 sisters and a brother, none of them work! I am 46 years old and have worked for 30 years even whilst studying for my degree. I can see the difference in our lives so don't think I don't get it because I seriously do.

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  36. Another blog I read regularly is this one - http://benefitfraud.blogspot.com/
    This makes my blood boil!!!
    I am not miserable, I live a happy fulfilled life and I enjoy working. I do object to funding these lifestyles. Don't pretend it doesn't happen because it clearly does...and these are just the ones who've been caught.

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  37. Along with the Daily Mail I don't wonder. Yes...fraud happens. Yes, it sucks...but what part of "Instead of catching those scroungers we're now ALL considered scroungers" are you not getting?

    Honestly, all I'm seeing here is "These grapes are incredibly sour, so I'm going to lob them."

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  38. IDS and co don't like any person who cant stand on his own two feet fact THAT IS CONSERVATIVE POLITICS AND ALWAYS HAS BEEN
    You couldn't get a more clear picture of a conservative it's completely black and white and it's 100% true of every conservative politician i have ever known of which have been many

    There are no charitable conservatives be the way they think or act there whole life revolves around money and lifestyle

    The public are now in the main of the same culture as the conservative politicians and we are very unlikely ever to see a labour government ever again sad but true

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  39. Others feel the way you do, we see the lies and smears that are used against the very people who are good,honest and in need of some support.

    We would like to invite you to join us "Anonymous(uk)" on facebook to discuss the issues you will NOT see on main stream news.

    If you want a diversion,a cause or just a discussion about any topic with intelligent reasoned replies

    Regards

    William Tell

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  40. You're a slippery cretinous character Anon and making up opinions for others to have so you don't have to deal with what they actually say and think is malicious. The 'benefit fraud' blog is malicious and encourages others to be so and does absolutely nothing to be informative about welfare. Attempts to actually glean useful information from it have been failures, but learning about figure-twisting by observing it has been helpful.

    You seriously don't get it.

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  41. Sorry Mason, you have lost me with your last comment. I have not been rude to anyone but you continue to insult me...I give up! I was on your side!! It is impossible to know actual figures relating to benefit fraud as we can only learn about them when an individual is caught cheating the system. Therefore any figures released/revealed are useless as they canno give an accurate portrayal of the extent of the problem. If one person is cheating that is one too many and it is those odious people you should be annoyed at rather than me.

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  42. Accurately describing what you're doing isn't insulting. If you can't be arsed with the 'actual figures' and simply deny they exist, then you are not on 'my side'.

    If you believe one person cheating is one too many, then that means you find 0% fraud to be the only tolerable level of fraud, which no social security system can functionally work under so you either haven't thought that statement through or you don't agree with the concept of social security at all. In which case you're not simply very far from on 'my side' by virtue of refusing to see any value in the best available data, but ideologically also.

    If there were no frauds, politicians and hacks would simply invent them because that is what they do anyway when they can't seem to actually find enough of them to support the notion of a 'benefit culture' or that fraud is a widespread and significant problem.

    I trust the prevalence figures for fraud because Labour almost doubled the number of benefit fraud investigators and the prevalence didn't rise; it had to already have been pressed close to the ceiling of fraud incidence.

    You're not giving up; you didn't even begin and don't want to.

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  43. i see both arguments as i have seen a few friends (who all worked) now unable to do so due to severe ill health. they have been penalised by making it nearly impossible to claim despite having hospital notes that they will not be fit for work for whatever reason. however i am also a working single parent who has now had to take on a second job to pay the bills. I don't smoke/drink and have not been able to afford a holiday since my dovorce 10 years ago from my children's dad. yet all around me i see non working families having 1 child after another (typically 6 or 7) with no earned income to support them. and i make no apologies for that, as a taxpayer, annoying me greatly. i have had to limit my family due to finances. so i do resent paying for theirs. However i think these types of people (and yes i would say the above example is feckless) have made it very difficult for genuine claimants to escape the stigma of being seen as a "scrounger". personally i think those who are able should be working, and those who want large families should be paying for them themselves.

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  44. sorry i also meant to add that I saw 1 mother of 5 get out her car with a cigarette in 1 hand a bottle of cider in the other. complete with baby bump number 6. so yes, the examples that the government describe do exist. They are the ones who need tackled and genuine claimants allowed to receive financial support without fear of prejudice due to the actions of a few. i don't think it fair to label but i seriously do live surrounded by quite a few "why should i work when you support me" types. And that, is catagorically wrong.

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  45. Before everyone jumps on Lisa, clearly she is right.

    The problem is, so much emphasis on "catching" the people she mentions and almost none on the huge majority just trying to do their best.

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  46. I still think that in the absence of examples and case studies, politicians and journalists would still invent them because that is what they do when they can't find the massive statistical signature the supposedly 'widespread' fraud should be producing.

    This makes those case studies virtually meaningless and uninformative in regards to how fraud should be tackled and doesn't at all justify any increase in the measures already in place.

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  47. Mason - Also, in my experience, there are always stories behind the easy assumption.

    I do know people who appear to fit the feckless bill perfectly, but when you dig a little deeper, I defy anyone to say, hand on heart, they would be any different.

    It's so easy to assume, but the woman might have been looking after 3 or 4 of the kids for someone else. She might have been left high and dry by a well off husband. She might be "feckless"

    The point that worries me is we all just assume the third one now.

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  48. IDS is correct. That's because his statement is a truism. A 'feckless' parent would spend the money on themselves. Otherwise they wouldn't be feckless.

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  49. To all the judgemental people...I am 34 years old, partially sighted (for which I currently receieve low rate mobility & care...maybe not for much longer though) unemployed through no fault of my own (made redundant when the purpose built warehouse I worked at lost it's contract) and divorced because my ex wife decided to have an affair with an old flame who hooked up with her via Facebook. I have no kids and currently live alone claiming Jobseekers Allowance and receiving Local Housing Allowance that barely covers the rent for the shoebox I now live in. My divorce came about at the exact same time as my redundancy and I was left in such a traumatised state mentally that I was unable to work for a few months. Since then, however, I've applied for literally hundreds of jobs and thrown myself into voluntary work to keep busy, including a stint with Action For Blind People which helped me to learn about visual aids that have since helped me tremendously to use my own computer at home. I have had only 2 interveiws in 3 years and was even told by an agency recently that the now longish gap since my last paid full time employement (3 years) was affecting my applications as employers wanted more 'recent' experience and voluntary work apparently doesn't really count(?). I have applied for every job given to me at the Job Centre along with all the other vacancies I've found myself, and attended every scheme the Job Centre has sent me on, including the current Work Programme I'm on. So far, asides from a couple of CV rewrites, I've had nothing come from these schemes or any of the numerous agencies I'm registered with for temp work. I AM READY AND WILLING TO WORK! ANYTIME! But somewhere along the line, just like almost everybody else who posts here, I've been labelled a 'scrounger'...like those 'feckless' single mothers who keep having kids and those 'feckless' illegal immigrants that the gutter press like to publicise as hurting 'hard working families'. I say to you people who think it's unfair that benefit cheats are somehow getting away with 'milking the country dry' and 'choosing not to work'....is it fair that me and the the many others like me are tarred with the same brush? Is it fair that a benefit claimant with no kids like myself (who doesn't intend to father any unless I could afford to pay for them out my own pocket) is tarred with the same brush as one of these 'feckless' mothers who allegedly keeps having children to keep their benefits topped up? Is it fair that the actions of a small minority (and it IS a small minority in terms of overall figures) mean that EVERY benefit claimant has their money cut and is considered to be cheating the system in some way? That to me is a completely rotten and outdated way of thinking that is best left in the Victorian era, along with workhouses for the poor and child labour for poor kids. When the government claims it will cut benefits in order to stop the minority groups living the life of Riley on taxpayers money, what they're actually doing is cutting benefits for EVERYBODY, regardless of whether they're workshy or not because to the DWP, every benefit claimant is just part of the same statistic.

    God forbid that any of the judgemental people should suddenly in the near future find themselves on the breadline, which may well happen in today's economic climate. All your years of servitude in employment and support of the Tories ideals won't do you any good then, as far as your peers will be concerned you'll be just as much a 'scrounger' as the rest of us and made to feel like it.

    Sorry for taking so long to get to the point.

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  50. Ah, the irony. Trying to watch "The X Factor" at someone's house and one of their friends starts ranting about Johnny Robinson (who seems to be a lovely chap) having defrauded his country by being an alleged benefits cheat. The person doing the ranting has been an alcoholic for 10 years! Yes, apparently there was a trigger, someone died, but a lot of people get through that without becoming at judgemental alcoholic who seemingly knows EXACTLY what Mr Robinson told the doctors at the Benefits Agency. Never mind that that is supposed to be confidential. Don't let that bother the haters or the gutter press. When questioned by Olly Murs and Caroline Flack on "The XTra Factor", Mr Robinson pointed out that he had had a job paying tax and NI for 29 years before his back got too bad for him to continue.

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  51. Oh am I the only person sick of hearing the catch phrase "hard working families"?! This phrase implies the someone who does not work is somehow a lesser being! What about the sick, the retired, and the person who lost their job?

    Its a form of conditioning, if repeated often enough, stupid people will be brainwashed.

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  52. I think George Michael (Wham) once summed it up in a song.

    'DHSS, DHSS' Hahaha - A great brand of pathos.

    I'm rather no nonsense about all this and make no apologies for it. In my opinion, the onus should be on the individual to prove that contributing towards the strength and well-being of mother country is beyond them.

    If they cannot do this, then get licking envelopes for RBS.

    It's no difficult matter.

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