Welfare isn't about being on the take; it’s about being a civilised society.
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The Truth

Fraud

Obviously fraud is wrong, but many people seem to think lots of people claiming benefits do so illegally.

When the TUC did a poll on this people thought that 37% of welfare was claimed fraudulently.  The facts couldn’t be more different.

Just 0.7% of the welfare budget is claimed fraudulently

…but at the same time up to 24% (£11.77bn) of befits go unclaimed.

Compare this to the total amount lost through tax evasion and avoidance…

The taxman estimates the gap between what the government thinks it should receive in tax versus what it actually gets is over £30bn a year, with other research putting the figure as high as £120 billion.

£120bn would almost be enough to pay almost the whole deficit off in one go.

Also, it’s boom time for the richest – from April, people earning over £1 million a year will get a tax break of at least £40,000.  On average this will give million pound earners an extra £107,000 a year.

What about all those people who’ve never worked? A tiny needle, in a massive haystack!

The top researchers at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, tried really hard to find an example of any family were three generations in which no-one had ever worked. Guess what – they couldn’t find even one!

Just a tiny 0.07% of households are estimated to have had two generations of people who have ‘never worked’ and most of those include young people desperately looking for work.

4-in-5 people who received unemployment support spent at least three quarters of the last four years not claiming.  Which shows the image of lots of people claiming unemployment benefit year after year just doesn’t stack up.

Find out more

Welfare fraud is a drop in the ocean compared to tax avoidance - Guardian, CiF Feb 2013

The myth of the “welfare scrounger” - Ian Mulheirn, New Statesman March 2013

Stop telling lies about poverty, benefits and welfare, churches demand - Ekklesia (Christian think-tank) March 2013

Graphic from The Independent from TUC poll findings

Graphic from The Independent from TUC poll findings

The Stats 

What is the tax gap? – Tax Research UK

Fraud and Error in the Benefit System – DWP