Friday, 9 April 2010

Benefit Fraud & Unemployment

The Conservatives have come up with a little piece this morning - apparently, £80 per second has been lost to benefit fraud and administrative waste since 1997.

£80 per second? That sounds like a lot.

Let's multiply it up.

£80 per second is £4,800 per minute, £288,000 per hour, £6.91million per day and, gloriously, £2.52billion per year.

£2.52billion per year is certainly a hell of a lot of money.

But let's put this in the perspective.

A previous post pulls up some information from the recent Budget, which states that the total amount spent on 'Social Protection', i.e. benefits plus pensions, is £196billion. Every year. Based on the Government's own figures, even if you exclude pensions, the total amount being spent on benefits is about £112billion.

And remember, the annual budget deficit is still a decidedly unhealthy £167billion.

The Conservatives do have a point. There should be a drive to reduce waste. But if administrative waste and fraud accounts for a mere 2.25% of the benefits budget, it's not really something to get your knickers in a twist about.

The point is that the same mere 2.25% is £2.52billion. What about the other 97.75%?

Just a thought.

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