Thursday, October 28, 2010

Madness

Now say I were to steal £50,000 from my employer and I were to be caught, even if I showed great remorse over my actions, I could be expected to be sacked and very likely prosecuted and given a prison sentence were I to be found guilty. You'd think that such a set of circumstances would apply throughout the system and of course you'd be wrong.

Express.

A BENEFITS cheat from Southampton who falsely claimed income support of almost £50,000 has escaped jail and will take 106 years to pay back the cash.
Mother of three Lee-Anne Jennings, 42, claimed the money for nearly five years but did not tell the Department for Work and Pensions her husband had moved back in.

She is now paying it back voluntarily at £9 a week, which will take 106 years.

A Southampton Crown Court official said on Thursday that Jennings admitted that she had failed to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances between 2004 and 2009.

She received an 18-week sentence suspended for 18 months coupled with 150 hours community service at a charity shop one day a week, because of poor health.

No order was made to pay the money back as Jennings did not have the means to pay.

Judge Derwin Hope said if he sent her to prison, her two younger children would have to go into care, the paper said.

Jennings began claiming for income support on the basis of being a single parent after her husband, Roy, left her in 2000.

But four years later they began living together again and she failed to tell the authorities, who eventually found out after a tip-off.
Not only does she have 106 years to pay it back, she's still getting benefits in order to pay for it! She still keeps her house, she still keeps her kids and no doubt gets certain benefits for having them too. This is taxpayers money too, taken from those of us who pay taxes and paid out to her to pay back the money she illegally claimed. She should have lost everything, at least until the money was paid back, including if necessary the costs of keeping her kids in care or adopted. Yes I know it sounds draconian, but other people out there manage fine, don't cheat the system and often enough want out of the system if only it paid for them to do so. Jennings has just shown the rest of the scroungers as well as the honest folk out there struggling along that it pays to cheat the system because even if you're caught it wont matter a damn, well £9 a weeks worth of damn.
The system needs to be completely overhauled, simplified and the penalties for fiddling it made plain and draconian, you aren't stealing from the state you're stealing from your neighbours, friends, anyone who pays tax in other words.

Sometimes the whole mess that's accrued over the years makes me very angry, today it managed to make me livid.

5 annotations:

Dick Puddlecote said...

Well, it kinda takes the wind out of our sails to say that MPs and Lords would be jailed for such fraud if they were benefit cheats.

Oh, perhaps that's it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Why should people not try to 'fiddle' the system ? I think that it is everyones duty to get as much benefit as they can through lying and falsifying circumstances.
The more they take the better and the less left for the thieving M.P.s and phoney charities that the Government like to spend our money on.
So the woman got £200 extra each week.. That's nothing when asylum seekers were being paid £2000 per week for rent etc.
Everyone I know does their best to get cash from benefits and good luck to them.

Quiet_Man said...

Well anonymous, if you are happy with people on benefits picking your pocket, that's your lookout.
I'm not, it's supposed to be a safety net, not a comfort zone.
Fiddling is theft, those people who do it are thieves. The excuse that just because someone else does it is no excuse at all, it just justifies theft.
It comes out of my pockets, the government just redistribute my taxes (an others) it isn't their money!

allcoppedout said...

I want to see this stopped; yet lots worse is going on in expense and bonus scandals.

Quiet_Man said...

Yes, allcoppedout, but they aren't doing it with my money, unless of course you are talking about politicians.