George Osborne must correct his claims about benefit fraud. And his portrayal of the poor as mean-minded and cheating

From the Telegraph

 

“Last week three British churches (the Methodist, Baptist, and United Reformed) issued an important joint press release which has been completely ignored by the mainstream press. It is time that we woke up and paid attention to it.

Perhaps the language they used was too polite. However their allegation is significant and demands a response from the Treasury: the churches are saying that Chancellor George Osborne grossly exaggerated the scale of benefit fraud in his spending review two weeks ago.

George Osborne told MPs: ‘Nor will fraud in the welfare system be tolerated any more. We estimate that £5 billion a year is being lost in this way – £5 billion that others have to work long hours to pay in their taxes.’

However that figure is not true. I have now been onto the Treasury and it is clear that the real figure for fraud in the benefits system is £1.5 billion a year, or less than one third of the sum which Osborne claimed in his spending statement.”.….. Click for full article

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