As thousands of Scottish pensioners fail to claim benefits they are entitled to, Tory MSP frets about overpayment!

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Yesterday at Holyrood, Michelle Ballantyne (SCAUP) asked the Scottish Government what plans Social Security Scotland has to prevent future benefits overpayments.

As I read this, I was reminded that overpayment is not really the problem as huge numbers of benefits go unclaimed. See this from September 9th, 2019:

Statistics from HMRC and DWP estimated that in 2016/17 only 31% of families without children eligible for Working Tax Credit claimed, while only 60% of those eligible for Pension Credit claimed. However, the full extent of benefit non-take-up in the UK is unknown because of difficulties in estimating eligibility. The [Social Security] Committee is also investigating how technology could help automate some benefits to improve take-up and how take-up rates for the new Scottish social security benefits will be impacted by their link to the take-up rates for UK benefits.

So, only 2.2% of total benefit payment is estimated to be overpaid but 69% of families and 40% of pensioners don’t make claims they are entitled to. As life expectancy stalls among Scotland’s poor, you can trust the Scottish Tories to focus on the real priorities.

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

2 thoughts on “As thousands of Scottish pensioners fail to claim benefits they are entitled to, Tory MSP frets about overpayment!

  1. Ballantyne is one of the favourites to be the next leader of Tories in Scotland . A most suitable candidate , she has all the attributes necessary for being the leader of that repugnant party ! .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ms Ballantyne, believes sincerely the trope that any people on ‘benefits’, whether these are pensions for which people have contributed, or any other, they are, by definition ‘scroungers’ and ‘should be working’. As far as she is concerned, the benefits are too generous anyway and, if they are not being claimed then that is their fault and none of us should give them any help or advice on how to get them.

    Now, of course, in any system, there will be overpayments, but these are a pretty small percentage of the totals. There are, indeed, some who get benefits as a result of dishonesty. I do not condone this, but, again the percentage of the total is pretty small beer.

    Where the real fraud is, is that being perpetrated by global finance. Much of it is ‘PERFECTLY legal’, because their cronies in Parliament pass – or fail to pass – laws which would control this. They move funds offshore. They take payment in dividends instead of wages. They rig the market by ‘short selling’ . They get tax breaks for private schools. They simply evade tax. They reduce the number of tax inspectors so that dealing with fraud is difficult. And, when they put the financial system on its ares, in will step Bodger Broon and Lord Darling to hand over shedloads of public money.

    Liked by 1 person

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