I was up late last night. I normally am. At around three there was a ping from my partners I pad. He has BBC news alerts on there.
Like most people if you get a phone call at three ( or a text message thanks very much Owen Smith ) you think “it’s bad news” and it’s the same with the ping – what is happening in the world should we be hiding under the bed?
So I looked at the alert and it was telling me that someone and won something at the Olympics.
After the sigh of relief that we were not about to be annilated I through what the…… Ok it’s interesting and important but really?
So I looked at the BBC news website today and it’s full of olympics stuff. Again I love sport but there is a sports section on the website so why so much on the news.
The other day when the action of the NEC was deemed unlawful in the courts I looked on the website. Headline news is some one holding a medal looking happy .
So today in my mind , which when it comes to the media is a little cynical I will admit, I thought what don’t they want us to know? So I began my usual look through the Internet for any interesting news.
I found within a couple of seconds a Mirror article explaining how a pet project of Iain Duncan Smith ( you remember him the guy who cried on telly about a single mother whilst fighting to hide documentation about how many deaths changes and cuts to disability benefit has caused ) in which those on job seekers allowance were made to go to an office for 35 hours a week and under supervision look for work has been scrapped.
It did not work basically. And it cost £1.4 million pounds.
Mirror – Tories quietly cut IDS pet project
I then found another article in The Guardian about another scheme aimed at helping turn around families lives by support and intervention. This has also failed due to how it was instigated and ran.
That one cost £1.3 billion pounds.
Guardian – failure go government scheme
So in the matter of a few minutes of looking at the newspapers on line I read how the government wasted £1.7 billion pounds.
What could that money have been spent on?
Well £1.5 billion is the bill for student maintenance grants which go to university students from the poorest backgrounds
BBC – scrapping grants
It could pay for the PFI payments for ten of the NHS trusts with the highest debts . At nearly £600 million it could pay it for a couple of years. Of course it could go toward paying off the debts completely which would save the tax payer money and give the NHS money to be spent on medical care.
Telegraph – the true cost of PFI
To put it another in another light £ 1.7 billion is actually higher than the amount of money lost in benefit fraud, with estimates based on government figures as being £1.3 billion . However it is nowhere near the £34 billion in taxes which are not paid , a figure some say is conservative ( no pun intended) and it is more like £120 billion.
The week – which cost more benefit fraud or tax evasion
It is also a drop in the ocean when you consider that it is estimated between £13 billion and £24 billion in unclaimed benefits per year.
Blog – unclaimed benefits
Gov report – take up of benfits
Turn2us – unclaimed benefit
Mirror – unpaid benefits
We all know what has been happening to welfare under this government. We all know the word austerity. We all know who voted for and against welfare cuts. However we are told every day of the cheats and the frauds who are robbing the tax payer. those on benefits who are too lazy to work. We are told of the drain on resources this is.
The media and the government do not want you to know the truth so they hide the release of reports, ensure that the media do not give these stories the blanket coverage they deserve. They wait for good days to bury bad news.
And most importantly they label those rare politicians who know about this, want more money spent on fighting tax evasion , want to ensure that money goes to people who need it are foolish, talk nonsense economics, are unelectable. They want to make sure that those who support them and his plans are seen as easily fooled , Trotskies , out of touch cult followers living in a dream land.
And this is coming from those who claim to be for the people. Claim they stand for true Labour Values. From the Deputy Leader.
Theresa May said the other day that we should not think of austerity as a bad thing but rather that people live within their means. How is it Theresa that the people have to live within their means but the government can waste a substancial amount of money ? Can misinform us about what really costs us the most ? Can de humanise people so that someone actually thought it was right to treat them in a contemptible and humiliating manner. Forcing them to be supervised in an office to look for jobs and which failed.
It is because we keep watching the news and accepting what they say and present without question. Because most people do not spend any time looking at political news as they don’t do politics. They may know the people in suits and shirt sleeves are not working in their best interest but nothing will change.
I would say watch the coverage of plucky Team GB tonight by all means . But then take a few minutes to look elsewhere. Because there is going to be a change, and it would be wonderful if you were a part of it.
Since writing this and after the sad death of the Duke of Westminster , have read his heir will not pay inheritance tax on their fortune. The full article is here.
The late Duke did give to charity and said that he was not happy he was born rich. If this were the case then why take steps to avoid paying tax ? This one payment alone would equal the entire revenue collected by HMRC for inheritance tax from the UK last year. I think his title is rather apt , don’t you ?