Like many last night I sat down to watch the first in the series of programmes titled Undercover Benefits Cheat, with investigative reporter Paul Connolly and his team.
To be fair I wasn’t sure what the programme would be like, was it going to join the ranks of other benefit hate propaganda that we have been exposed to on our screens recently.
To be truthful after a hours viewing I am still not sure where it does fall.
‘The skivers and scroungers we have exposed are all part of a crooked minority that will do whatever it takes to exploit the benefits system.
‘They cost taxpayers more than £1billion a year and give honest claimants a bad name.’
Paul states in the programme that those committing fraud are not the majority of benefit claimants but lets be honest after watching last nights programme I am sure that this fact was lost on most viewers.
Selling dead babies birth certificates, fake car crashes, peeing yourself in public could it really get worse.
The programme made me and many on my social media furious and I know thats the response it is hoping to get, but my anger is not towards the benefit claimants but to those criminals who cheat the system and towards those that give them airtime.
I know people who have to claim benefits, who have no choice.
There are those who work damn hard to get a job, applying for anything and everything.
Those who cannot work because they are raising their families, caring for someone. People who are genuinely ill or disabled.
Yet none of these people are waving excess amounts of money about that they have received from the system. They are parents going without meals to purchase their kids school uniforms. Families struggling to survive, bills rising every day becoming a mountain that they never feel they will ever be able to climb.
I don’t see anyone being handled these benefits on a plate, I have watched people become depressed by the system. Being made to feel like the lowest of the low.
I have faced the awful experience of the PIP assessment with a family member, a government funding assessor convinced that a paralysed arm can be moved. Humiliation and tears all in hope off being able to reject a claim.
I know there are some really shit people in the world and yes Paul Connolly introduced us to a number last night. But please remember that not everyone who receives benefits are con artists. They are using a system that is in place to help and support the vulnerable.
They are vulnerable and they are struggling.
Please remember that the majority of benefit claimants are decent human beings.
Paul Connolly did a great job of exposing the low life that abuse the system but remember that there are shitters in all walks of live.
Lets not allow the current government to use programmes like this as an excuse to cut benefits.
There are currently 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK.
That’s almost a third of all children. 1.6 million of these children live in severe poverty . In the UK 63% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works. How does the government respond to this , they change the definition of poverty.
Take a look at the this infographic produced by the Public and Commercial Services Union
Ask yourself why Paul Connolly isn’t on the doorstep of the bosses of Amazon and Starbucks?
Benefit fraud is wrong but programmes like this are making it out to be the biggest of issues. It’s wrong but there is an minority that is abusing the system, a small minority. As this infographic also shows that the story of fraud within the UK economy does not begin and end with benefit fraud.
Whilst the fraud you witness on Undercover benefit cheats is truly disgusting and completely criminal it is only one chapter of a much bigger story.
A story that needs to be told…