Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, March 2, 2012

Meet the middle-class fiddlers who feel entitled to claim your taxes

David Cameron yesterday announced an historic shake-up of the welfare system, vowing an end to the culture in which claiming benefits is regarded as an acceptable alternative to work.

The Prime Minister said the measures to curb welfare dependency would help get people back to work and start to turn around the something-for-nothing culture encouraged by Labour.

But, as Melissa Kite has found, those looking to milk the system are not just the stereotypical single mothers of five in council houses, expecting the state to pick up the bill for their irresponsible lifestyles; even the middle classes are looking to claim benefits to which they have little entitlement.

A very chic lady turned to me at a dinner party and in tremulous tones confided that she was being investigated for benefit fraud.

‘Infernal cheek,’ I said. ‘How typical that our chaotic benefits system should make such a stupid mistake. Instead of going after the layabouts, some idiot pen-pusher has put two and two together and made nine.’

‘No,’ she said, her cut-glass voice lowering until it was almost inaudible. ‘I have been fiddling benefits.’ I stared in shock at this elegant woman, dressed from head to foot in Armani. With her salon blow-dried hair and impeccable taste, she was to me the antithesis of what a benefit claimant looked like, never mind a fraudulent one. Read More