Unseen side of fiddling
A PLAISTOW man in his sixties is beginning a prison sentence for having obtained more than �28,000 in Housing and Council Tax benefits. He is not the first to be caught with his hand in the public purse and, regrettably, he won t be the last. The court to
A PLAISTOW man in his sixties is beginning a prison sentence for having obtained more than �28,000 in Housing and Council Tax benefits.
He is not the first to be caught with his hand in the public purse and, regrettably, he won't be the last.
The court took his current financial situation into account and made no order in regard to costs or compensation.
Newham Council, however, say they are determined to recover every penny filched by fraudsters.
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How long it would take to do so in a case as extreme as this is anybody's guess.
Most instances of fraud are committed by people at a more modest level who do not think of it as a crime.
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After all, they say, it's only the council's money.
It's taxpayers who provide the cash which oils the wheels of government both at a national and local level.
It's this weird attitude of regarding the benefits system as fair game that makes cracking down on offenders so difficult.
Some, like the man who fiddled �28,769 and who is now residing at one of Her Majesty's prisons, make almost a career out of it.
Others not so ambitious are nonetheless just as guilty.
Yet there are many people, particularly pensioners, who fail to claim what they are entitled to and who mistakenly regard the benefits system as akin to begging.
That is the opposite side of the story and somehow the message has to get across to them that there really is no shame in claiming what is rightfully theirs.