Have noted comments about fraud etc. All I will say that as a landlord of a private house, my mother's aged 91, living with my sister for care, it is amazing the number of tenants who are committing fraud by claiming housing benefit they are not actually entitled to. What is more amazing is even when these frauds are brought to the attention of the local authority nothiing is done as these frauds are now dealt with centrally by central govt and not local authority. The benefit claims are currently still submitted to the local authority and because of staff cuts they don't have the time to look at claims properly, checking bank account information, reports of people who actually are couples but claiming as two separate individuals etc, so fraud in this area of benefits is rife and we are all paying for it.
My mother pays tax on her modest income, we are not buy to let big boys, just trying to cover the costs of maintaining the house and her living expenses , it makes me sick to see these frauds for quite large sums of money going unaddressed. New fraud teams set up are there to deal with the importing cigarettes and booze type scenarios, fraud detection on benefit fraud is minimal, and only very few cases make it to prosecutions and paper headline status.
So, bit of a rant but more examples of the innocent get penalised because they declare everything honestly and the criminals continue to get away with it.
Having worked for a local authority my comments are from hard facts and not political ideology.
Some people deserve financial support and should get it, many though are frauds and are costing this country a huge amount of money, no wonder the welfare bill is sky high. More money spent on fraud detection would make sure the money goes to the people who deserve it.