May 19, 2022
2 mins read
The Tories want an authoritarian crackdown on benefit fraud after they chose to write off billions in tax fraud. As if the poorest and most vulnerable aren’t already being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis, as getting on for 2 million people are actually destitute right now and with no answers to this problem, just infighting amongst Tories with some wanting benefit rises, others not, some wanting a windfall tax others not, with neither Boris Johnson or Rishi Sunak really having any idea on how to deal with this because they might as well come from another planet for all they know about being poor, the Tories are actually proposing, at a time like this, to start bashing benefit claimants. The disgusting Therese Coffey wants access to Universal Credit claimants bank account data in order to issue fines if she doesn’t like what she sees – even if no conviction results from it. That’ll include YOU getting punished for THEIR errors, of which they make many. Once again the Tories are coming after the poorest for fraud, a laughable move when they’ve written off billions in pandemic fraud, but then that’ll have been committed by their mates and their donors. According to Citizens advice, benefit fraud accounts for just 2% of all fraud committed in the UK. Tax fraud accounts for 69% of it, but kicking the poor is a Tory joy and this has nothing to do with cracking down on fraud. What she wants is access to bank account data to check for fraud and have the power to issue arrest warrants, conduct searches and seize evidence and even if after that a case doesn’t get taken to court, she’ll still reserve the right to hand out fines anyway. Benefit fraud is insanely small and the Tories have been accused of trying to concoct a headline to bury more high profile incompetence on their parts, an accusation that has some merit given they don’t plan to start work on this until next year,, but this will terrify the poorest and most vulnerable as they see the Tories coming for them yet again. And if you think Labour will stand against this, well, given Starmer’s past actions, he’ll probably whip to support it. In 2013, whilst still Director of Public Prosecutions, Starmer wanted sentences of up to 10 years in prison for benefit fraudsters. Let’s also never forget Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves pledge to be tougher than the Tories on benefits and that was when Iain Duncan Smith was in charge! This is a disgusting, wrongheaded move, but is entirely in keeping with the increasing authoritarianism of our leaders and especially of the last 12 years of Tory rule.