It's a cliche, but old George must be spinning in his grave

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No idea what an unemployed person actually gets in benefits but I can't see it being this much. And bear in mind, anyone on the minimum wage will probably be able to get some form of benefits as well as their wage.

Since you ask, I get Jobseeker's Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. All together, they add up to £7.8K a year. I'd guess I'm on the low side of average, because I've got a cheap flat.

As far as in-work benefits go, I recently had a "Better Off" calculation for a job I applied for: (I forget the precise figures, but something like) 37 hours a week @ NMW rates = approx. £12.5K a year. In-work Benefits (Working Tax Credits)=£460 a year. It wouldn't even have covered my travel expenses (£50 p.w.)
At present you have to do the equivalent of a full time job, in hours, doing job searches etc.

16 hours per week is full time employment. Not 35, 37, 40 etc..
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Whilst none of use can prove how high fruad is, do you really believe it's only 2%?
If I can't trust the govt's own statistics, how can I have any confidence in the policies based on those statistics? And whose statistics can I trust?

Ultimately the people who try and screw the system are responsible for the government clampdowns, it doesnt matter which party is in charge, the only result you will ever get is to ignore the issue or to go in with size 12s
I disagree. The only people reponsible for the government's clampdowns are the government. Everything else is just pretext.

The 500k figure is those estimate "fit to work" currently signed of as unfit.

During pilot projects in Burnley and Aberdeen, 30% of existing claimants were found fit to work immediately. A further 39% were found to be fit to work with extra help. The remaining 31% were found to be unable to work, and will carry on getting unconditional support.

Sure there may be some margin for error there, but 30% found fit to work in error, nah, clearly a lot of those 30% played the "ohh me back" card.

There were only 700,000 Incapacity Benefit claimants in 1979 but a whopping two and a half million today.

The population increased by 10%, and those on benifits by +200%.
You might have a point, but I can't comment on disability issues. I have little personal experience in that respect, and I don't want to get sidetracked.

I should probably have been more specific: DWP estimates the Job Seeker's Allowance overspend through fraud/error at 5%, so proven fraud accounts for around 1.3% of the JSA bill. No doubt there are people doing a bit "on the side", but I doubt if they have a significant impact.

I don't approve of Benefit Fraud, but it's not easy living on the dole, despite what the politicians would have you believe, and I'm not going to condemn anybody just for trying to get by, without knowing more about their personal circumstances.


So how much are you getting paid for that then? I bet it's a lot more than £8K a year.

Sorry, but why does that matter.
Just curious. You know a lot about me from our previous conversations, but I know nothing about you. If we're to clash swords again, it would be nice to know a bit more about where you're coming from.

Are you saying those people on low wage are then not obliged to fulfil their agreed obligations with their employer?
No. Where did that come from?

You get paid to look for a job, so you spend your time looking for a job, seems reasonable.
Not unreasonable, no; although I'd suggest that I get paid for staying alive, fit, healthy and available for work. The "conditionality" of proving that you're looking for work is a relatively new innovation. I'm not necessarily against conditionality; what I am against is being treated like a petty criminal, being labelled a "workshy benefit scrounger", and being forced to waste my time carrying out an empty and pointless ritual when I can make much more constructive use of it.
Fair comment, but I suspect the reality will be rather different. Universal Jobmatch, along with Universal Credit, are both part of the Goverment's plan to completely digitise the welfare system over the next 2 - 3 years. If it's successful I predict that, within 2 years of its initiation, Job Centres will become redundant. Thousands of experienced front-line staff will lose their jobs to be replaced, at best, by a receptionist, a security guard and a bank of computers, at worst, nothing at all; the Human element to the welfare system will be all but eliminated, and the only Human contact any claimant will have will be with underpaid, inexperienced staff manning a remote call-centre; and millions of people will be forced to rely for their Benefits on the smooth running of a vast, complex, Government IT system - a class of entity not noted for its reliability or robustness.

So you are against the changes, because A might lead to Z.

It might, but something has to change about the current admin set-up, money spent on admin, is money not spent on welfare.

You misunderstand me. I'm not against change per se, I'm against change that is badly thought-out and rushed. My principle concern is over the computerisation of the whole benefits system. The potential for disaster here is frightening.

Look at it this way: My Jobseekers Allowance is paid by the Job Centre, and my Housing Benefit is paid by my Local Authority - two separate and independent agencies. If my JSA is stopped, for whatever reason, I know I'll still get my HB and I can pay my rent. If my HB is stopped (or, more likely, delayed), I know I'll still get my JSA, and a quick trip down to the Town Hall will sort out the HB in a few days.

With this new system, if one payment stops, everything will stop; and if it's due to a fault in the system, everything will stop for everybody at the same time, with no way of knowing when the situation will be rectified.

I'm lucky, I've got some contingency funds and I could survive a few weeks without serious problems, but a lot of people, an awful lot of vulnerable people, don't have that luxury.

I have no confidence in this system at all.