LETTERS From Ian Johnson, Ventnor:
I GET as angry as the next person with hardened benefit fraudsters, claiming for their six kids while working full time. It’s inexcusable.
However, there are those who are in real poverty, namely couples without children where one works in a low-paid job and the other is unemployed. These are the poorest people in society and live on a pittance.
Some might be offered the odd couple of days a month of low-paid 'black’ work, a week of Christmas work off the books to make a bit towards the presents.
If they declared this their benefits would be cut and many forced to re-register on lower benefit rates.
So, I find it hard to stomach reading about relatively well paid police officers who’ve probably never experienced a days unemployment in their lives, pulling over older cars to check for 'benefit cheats’. You can bet it was older cars too, bet that those police officers weren’t standing by the roadside with tax evasion experts from HMRC stopping businessmen in smart new BMWs and Mercedes.
We are constantly told that we are 'all in this together’. That’s a bad joke. The financially comfortable and healthy under seventy-five year olds with their second homes in the sun, keep their winter heating benefits and free TV licences. The politicians all know this age group are far more likely to vote than youngsters and want to keep them happy. Meanwhile those under pension age lose their council tax benefits, housing benefit, and have to make it up from unemployment allowance.
This amounts to £56 a week for under 25s and £71 a week for 25 to 64 year olds.
Politicians fiddle their expenses, celebrities fiddle their taxes, bankers pay each other obscene wages while fixing interest rates and selling utterly bogus insurance, and utility companies and supermarkets operate cartels.
Meanwhile, police officers are paid overtime to pull over people in rusty old Vauxhalls on a cold winter evening before Christmas.
• More letters on this topic in the Friday, December 7, County Press.