Let’s all stick together in Coronavirus UK? Herald bemoans welfare fraud running at less than one percent of unclaimed legitimate benefits and less than half a percent of tax fiddled by the rich

What? Thousands of claimants are making individual claims of up to £150 million each? How many disabled weans have they got?

In more than six hundred words on those welfare claimants suspected of defrauding the taxpayer we can see whose side Michael Settle is on. There’s no space for any useful context such as the scale of legitimate benefits not claimed or of the scale of tax avoidance in the UK. It;s easy to find of course. Here it is:

Families in the UK are missing out on £21+ billion a year


Tax lost though avoidance, evasion, omission and error:

At £35bn, the government’s official estimate of tax losses is now the highest it has ever been in cash terms since figures were first published in 2008. That is £673m a week if you wanted to paint it on the side of a big red bus – almost 3 times the police budget which stands at £12.3bn. Worryingly these estimates have been increasing sharply in recent years. The tax gap has increased by 17 per cent since 2016 when the figure was £30bn.’ 


19 thoughts on “Let’s all stick together in Coronavirus UK? Herald bemoans welfare fraud running at less than one percent of unclaimed legitimate benefits and less than half a percent of tax fiddled by the rich

    1. Pah, I hate tax. (Don’t tell prof Murphy that though)

      I’ve put a piece, re how good the response has been for guidance to Scottish courts as opposed to English ones, into moderation John (3 links in it – I should have emailed it!) that you could retrieve?

      (I’ve also suggested removing a comment from the Alex Salmond article – a bit too prejudicial and because it’s published and might be contempt, thinking it might be better its removed? I’m assuming you’ve read the judgement on the Andy Wightman case and so know what you might be liable for,,,)


      1. Dunno, maybe takes a while to appear in your ,,, whatever it is you have? I can email if it doesn’t appear – the imagery of grubby courts will, I’m sure, increase your readership!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. In Scotland, with its wholly independent criminal justice system, all new jury trials have already been stopped, and more restrictions have been brought in for safety reasons during the pandemic:


    “Further measures to counter the “significant impact” the coronavirus pandemic is having on Scottish court business have been announced by Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service.

    In criminal cases, where a stop has already been put on any new jury trials, the Lord Justice General and Lord Advocate have agreed that summary criminal trials will now focus on custody cases except for some non-custody trials where witnesses are available: these are likely to be cases of domestic abuse, sexual offending or other violence.

    In addition there will be “strong judicial case management” to attempt to resolve cases without the need for a trial. Prosecutors and defence agents alike “will be expected to respond to the current situation with a view to ensuring that our restricted capacity for trials is reserved for essential cases”. Further opportunities to pre-record evidence or have evidence given from remote locations will also be explored.”

    Meanwhile, in the English justice system there are calls to stop jury trials as well as many complaints on the lack of sanitation in court buildings, here is a BBC report of a trial stopped because of it:


    “A trial was abandoned after a barrister complained it was “more hygienic in the cells than it is in the actual court”.

    Prosecutor Ian Fenny made the remarks after a juror at Gloucester Crown Court “felt obliged to self-isolate” when a family member fell ill.

    Mr Fenny, who donned white disposable gloves, bemoaned the “lack of hand sanitation” in public areas.

    Judge Ian Lawrie QC discharged the remaining jury members and adjourned proceedings.

    Barristers in England and Wales have demanded a halt to jury trialsas the coronavirus continues to spread.

    Mr Fenny told the court in Gloucester he was “wearing white gloves to make a point on hygiene”.

    “How can we be expected to continue this trial in light of the current circumstances?”

    Barrister Caighli Taylor agreed, saying “the panel cannot deliberate in such an enclosed jury room.

    “The jury box in this court is equally as small.””

    From the Secret Barrister, who has been highlighting the filthy state of English courts for some time, and their lack of funding by the uk government


    “There is no coherent plan. The official MoJ line is “business as usual”. Trials of up to 3 days are expected to proceed, irrespective of the risk caused by this high churn of people squeezed into our filthy court buildings.”

    I haven’t seen anything about how clean Scottish courts are – that doesn’t been to say they are, but I can’t find any complaints.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Universal Basic Income would be the sensible approach by government in the current crisis (needs to come from UK government), and is affordable – a lot more affordable than bailing out banks! Tweet from Caroline Lucas with link to an ft article:

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting thought from David Allan Green, and one I was considering with the increase in the number of online comments proclaiming that nothing except coronavirus should be discussed at this time – life goes on, and politicians still need to be held to account, more so even:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the thing I don’t get, public opinion has obviously seriously diverged from msm and politicians (or vice versa) but they still tell us they’re representative, or its ‘what the public wants’. Meanwhile less and less people buy newspapers, market forces at work – they seem to delude themselves it’s because of the Internet, but it surely can’t be all to blame.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I do not think it is interested in what you call its ‘natural reader base’, by which I assume you mean the population of Glasgow and the West of Scotland. It only ever had a small percentage of these and many, such as I, deserted it decades ago, when it started replacing people like Ian Bell, with the likes of Jenny Hjul. I think, nowadays its readership consists mainly of people who want the line it spouts and/or Rangers supporters (some of whom will be the right wing group. Its principal income is from advertising and that is mainly from the motor industry. It has reduced its number of full-time permanent staff and takes a lot of news agency and free-lance pieces.

      I was told that when Graham Spiers services were dispensed with after he published an article very critical of Rangers FC this was at the behest of a big wheel in the motor trade and bluenose, who pointed out that his company paid the Herald a fair amount in advertising. When Angela Haggerty, AS A FELLOW NUJ MEMBER, tweeted in support of her colleague she was peremptorily dismissed – from a different title within the Herald Group: so much for editorial independence. I think a substantial part of the reason for the dismissal of Ms Haggerty was that she had never hidden her attachment to Celtic FC and to her Irish heritage and to the fact that she was a young woman with strong political opinions. She was, later. reinstated – she would have won an unfair dismissal case hands down.


  4. I hadn’t seen this before…

    I remember years ago being told that the UK EngGov ( under Labour back then) had an actual policy NOT to inform people ( very often parents) of disability ‘benefits’, (DLA) so it was always at least 1/3 UNDERclaimed. Saved ’em a few bob I guess! So as a parent, with children who it turned out later on were on the autism spectrum, aside the LA and school never mentioning Aspergers for fear of having to fund support, the DWP kept insisting I get out and do a cleaning job or whatever, it was seen as weakness for requiring financial support to keep caring and parenting, without having a nervous breakdown.

    It was only later I was told, after son#2 was belatedly diagnosed with autism, that he was ‘eligible’ for DLA. I worked out, had that been the case when the problems first became apparent for him, we would have been about £25k better off over the years, probably more, and I could have managed with much less stress, and maybe kept my career going. Sadly that was not to be.

    Also as far as I know, DLA funding was not part of the same pot of cash as
    Job seekers allowance etc, maybe because it wasn’t taxable, but that could be fallacy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.