Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Jim Murphy, the Scottish secretary has suggested that people who inform on benefit cheats should get a share of the savings as a way of incentivising people to inform so making it harder for cheats. It is being suggested as an election policy so it is designed to win votes among the white working class who resent those who sit at home on benefits and get as much as they do when they go out to work. Being a possible election does not however mean that it is not worth doing.

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

Encourages hard work.

Knowing that people are likely to report on you if you are a benefit cheat means that people who might otherwise cheat off the system are more likely to see work as an attractive option. Equally those who are in work are going to wish to keep working as there is no fallback option, this will reduce lazyness and so help people and the economy in the long term.

grassing people up regardless of what they do shouldnt be the answer, nobody likes a grass, its not the benefit cheats that should be grassed up , some have to do a bit of work on the side because they cant live on the atrocious benefits that they claim. what about those in parliament, the ones that cheated on the exspenses claims? they are the real cheats with the wages they have coming in there is no need to cheat they get too much money anyway. lets see how they would manage on the income support or dole money rate that is disgraceful. its people in this hated coalition thats put many of these people on the dole with their wrongful stupid cuts? im allright jack is the motto of this coalition always attacking the vunerable in our society, i thought margaret thatcher was bad but these lot are worse still. the liberals will never ever get in after this, they have showed their true colours. anway when a grass gets found out their life wont be worth living , theres too many judas iscariots in this country to start with , another thing unemployed people are not lazy they have no jobs because of too many immigrants in the country, there are no jobs out there 100 applying for 1 job at the lowest rate. this country is on the way out it wont belong before theres riots looting and all sorts of disorder just watch this space. whoever said that people at home are getting the same money as those that are working is talking complete nonsense- i wonder where they got their information from, it seems there is a jealousy and hatred in certain people in our society that cant mind their own business and have hearts of stone , i hope those reading this know who i mean, it seems the whole country is filled with grassing type busybodies with nothing better to do than moan, i bet the same people are hated in their neighbourhoods, a snitch is a traitor?

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

Saves money

Less cheats = more money for government. More importantly it means more money for those who are entitled to benefits as the government would have less need or incentive to cut back on benefits.

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

This vilifies the under class

It would not be the actual payments that vilify the 'under class' you mention. It is things like advertising that do that. And whether the advertising is worth while would be a seperate question - does telling someone through the tv they will be caught deter people? There is also no reason to assume that all benefit cheats are in this 'under class'.

Once again, propaganda which sees the working class as stealing from the Government. We have seen the adverts on TV. The accusing camera angles as a woman in a tracksuit goes to a post box – “you will be caught”. Meanwhile, down the road a man in a suit is completing tax evasion, gaining far more money from the Government unfairly and he remains undetected. White collar tax evasion causes so much more fiscal damage to the government than working classes who take a pittance out of the welfare system. Paying people to ‘grass’ on benefit cheats is a way of turning all of society against the under classes. I thought Britain was supposed to be meritocratic not aristocratic. there is too many people in this country that think like the person who created and posted this debate, ive noticed in a few off the posts how uncaring this person is to the vunerable, but as usual the comments are selfish and seem to follow the tory way of thinking. get a life .

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

It is a policy designed to divert our attention.

They are doing it for the same reason they are cutting everything else, to save money. If it was all about media attention, they wouldn't be cutting essential services like education would they?

This policy is nothing more than a diversion tactic. They want the public to keep an eye on each others spending habits, working habits and report it back to the Government for a small reward. Whilst eyes are turned to the benefit fraudsters; bankers, MPs and other elite individuals can take all the money they want from the public funds. Of course, claiming the dole whilst having a job is a far more reprehensible crime than using public funds to clean MP swimming pools or to pay ludicrously high bonuses to bankers who took large risks the public had to pay for. As long as the Government can keep our attention to the ‘evil’ of benefit fraudsters, they are hoping that we will not notice their misdemeanours.

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

it reduces social cohesion

In some ways it would be bringing back a community spirit. It used to be seen as the reponsibility of every adult to tell off wayward kids, this is no longer the case. Now it would be the reponsibility of every adult to make sure that others in their community are not cheating the system, giveing people a sense of responsibility to their community and potentially more of a control over it.

Being aware of things that are wrong in your community can be disheartening, but having a recourse to do something about it makes people feel like empowered citizens.

In Britain, especially in cities we lack a sense of community spirit. People go about their own lives and mind their own business. We are increasingly distrustful of the people around us and feel increasingly defensive. What has caused this? Propaganda released about paedophiles, rapists and muggers. We no longer trust those around us as it is. We live in fear. Now, the Government are furthering this sense of distrust by asking us all to watch each other’s every move to try and detect those who are committing benefit fraud and be paid for it. This promotion ruins the idea of community spirit and neighbourly attitudes making Britain a lot grimmer place.

To add to the point, most benefit snitchers (genuine or not) see this as a means of making extra money for that holiday, car, LED TV and so on. While there are many benefit fraudsters there are just as many who have done nothing wrong and because someone dislikes them, wether it be jelousy, hate or other, they can be a target for heart ache, grief and lack of trust for the surrounding people in their street and everyday life.

To be honest, everyone makes mistakes without realising the consequences, so when a snitch snitches on someone, they have to look over their shoulders everyday all day. Is this a life that people really want for a bit of dirty money?

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

False and malicious allegations could be made

There are usually penalties for people who make false allegations, if only for wasting police time. You would not do well to report a whole street unless that street was really that bad.

As for people with grudges, there are plenty of other allegations that can be made which are far harder to disprove, such as rape.

Also, in most cases the police would simply put the suspect under surveilance and try to catch them working. Friends of the suspect would probably never know.

This scheme that Jim Murphy has proposed could see innocent people being put to their detriment. It could be used as a tool to harm people that you dislike. Even if there was no benefit fraud occurring, the false snitch could cause a family severe distress by having interviews and their finances investigated. You need not get caught for the process of investigation to cause stress. From the point of view of the ‘snitch’ if nothing is proved during the investigations, at least they injured the person whom they made allegation against by causing them undue stress. If some form of benefit fraud was found, then they would get compensated. For them it is a win/win situation. Why not report the whole street, in a rough part of town, your chances of being right about at least one of them must be quite high.

As mentioned above==========
To add to the point, most benefit snitchers (genuine or not) see this as a means of making extra money for that holiday, car, LED TV and so on. While there are many benefit fraudsters there are just as many who have done nothing wrong and because someone dislikes them, wether it be jelousy, hate or other, they can be a target for heart ache, grief and lack of trust for the surrounding people in their street and everyday life.

To be honest, everyone makes mistakes without realising the consequences, so when a snitch snitches on someone, they have to look over their shoulders everyday all day. Is this a life that people really want for a bit of dirty money?

Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?

Yes because... No because...

It will not help the public’s purse

Most of these things already exist. There are already hotlines, investigators, court orders and they already advertise extensively. So the only real addition would be the paying the small amount to those who do report. Ultimately if it becomes well known it might result in needing less investigators and advertising.

Benefits; given for everything but spread very thinly. The average benefit for a lone parent on income support with a 7 year old child is £95 a week. Given that the amount is so low, how can catching a few of the fraudsters recover the costs of the opening of the hotlines, the paying of the investigators, the paying of the courts for court orders and then finally the payments made to the snitch, how can this be profitable for the public purse? This is not to mention the money which has already been spent on television advertising of the issue. Surely it would be more profitable for every one to live and let live and love thy neighbour.

Debates > Should we pay ‘snitches’ to beat benefit cheats?
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