A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day.
It says "Public Finance Warning. Tax cheats stole your benefits. Tax cheats cost the UK £95 billion a year".
It is not an image I would share on my own Facebook. I don't believe people are automatically entitled to benefits, so 'stole your benefits' doesn't strike the right chord with me. This image is clearly aimed at benefit claimants. It needs to be aimed at people who do not claim benefits. People who think that benefit claimants (benefit cheats in particular) are causing the UK's money wells to run dry.
I do not know whether it is an accurate statistic. I do know that in 2010 it was estimated that tax cheats were costing the UK £70 billion a year. It's a scary figure.
The total cost of welfare benefits in the UK last year (2011) was £121 billion. Yes, that is a staggering amount. I find it astounding that the amount tax cheats cost the country is close behind though. Just imagine if we had that money back. There would be no more need to target the benefits system with such vehemence.
The total cost of welfare benefits in the UK in 2010 was £188 billion. A lot more than the following year. The cost of sickness and disability benefits however, was only £26 billion. You can see the vast chasm that is the difference between sickness and disability benefits, and the money lost to tax cheats.
The cost from tax cheats looks to be nearly three times that of the cost of sickness and disability benefits alone. The cost from actual sickness and disability benefit fraud will be minuscule in comparison.
So why is the government not doing anything about tax cheats? Why chase those who already have no money instead, when they could win back much much more money so easily?
Britain’s great benefits divide: The boroughs that claim most - and least - revealed
A Survey Of The UK Benefit System
Tax cheats cost you £1,150 a year