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What's worse benefit fraud or tax evasion?

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posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:17 AM

You may notice that a lot of media attention is dedicated to ripping apart the benefits system and making out that people on benefits are either slackers or fraudulent.

It is true of course that both of these exist in the benefits system and fraudulent claims in the UK total to just over one billion per year.

Recently it was bought to my attention the Richard Branson had moved vast sums of money to offshore banks in order to escape tax, this in my opinion is effectively cheating the country of the tax owed to the treasury that could in turn provide the services needed to people that helped Branson's empire grow.

This kind of tax evasion is rife within the mega wealthy sphere of society and costs the UK 30 billion a year!

My question is this, why does the media focus on the benefit 'scroungers' many of whom are often uneducated and don't know any better when there is 30 times as much money lost to the treasury by the more successful members of society the really have no excuse other than greed.

Please remember that these people got ultra wealthy on the backs of the people they are cheating, the least they could do is pay their taxes - it's not like they would be any less comfortable.

It's all to easy to blame the little people but remember the next time you frown at someone for being on benefits that the very people most of the population aspire to be like are costing us 30 times more.

edit on 9-10-2011 by bisonpowers because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:37 AM
For me (an American), I would say that it depends on the monetary figure involved.

I suppose that tax evasion, for the most part, involves larger figures per person.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:45 AM
For me they are both as bad as bad as each other.

If you engage in tax evasion it's a criminal offence.
If you fraudulently claim for benefits that you are not legally entitled to this also is a criminal offence.

There is no middle ground. Rich or Poor the act either way is illegal as both offences should be dealt with via the full force of the law.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:45 AM
They are both wrong.

And just because someone else commits a crime (or behaves in manner we disapprove of) does not mean that you should be allowed to.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:46 AM
A tax on your labour which is what Income Tax is, is fraudulent and unlawful. It's only because the majority of people are ignorant that the government gets away with it.

Notice I didn't say illegal but unlawful. The government can legislate anything they like to be legal, that does not make it just, fair, morally sound or lawful. It just means it is okay by their rules. Murder is legal if a troop is doing it.
edit on 9-10-2011 by Namaste1001 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:50 AM
Really? Is your moral compass so scewed that you don't know?

Hiding the money you EARNED so that less is stolen by the gov't...or lying to the gov't thieves so they give you more of someone else's money?

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:51 AM
So if I am hungry and steal some food, I deserve the same punishment as the man that robs a bank of 50,000 pounds?

May as well rob the bank.

If I kill one person on what would be a manslaughter charge, may as well Kill the rest of the town in cold blood.... Eliminate any witnesses you know.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:54 AM
I take it you live in the UK. So it does not quite translate to the culture of the US.

In the US, tax evasion by the individual is not possible in our Constitutional form of Government. In the US the individual is NOT required to submit any of their wage to the Government. If one volunteers to donate a portion of their wage to the Government, that is their choice.

What we seem to be plagued with in the US is Tax evasion by those who are required to pay tax by our laws. Mobile/Exxon, AT&T, JP Morgan, Federal Reserve Bank, Bank of America to name just a few that will pay little or no tax this year on the profits that they reap.

We are plagued by another tax problem in the US and that is most Americans have been successfully brainwashed in to believing that the individual is to pay a tax on the fruits of their labor. Just under 50% of the population does this every year in the US. These citizens are also instructed by every talking head on the TV that taxing Cooperation’s in the US is a bad, and that free trade is good. With the lack of education and the ability of critical thought our citizens buy into this idea hook, line, and sinker. They buy into this concept so deeply the ideas of what is referred to as a “Fair Tax” and another idea of a National consumption tax are very popular today. They are so under-educated that they have no idea that over 200 years ago our founders have already solved these issues for us, all we must do is follow the plan.

On the subject of benefit fraud this also does not translate well to the US. Socialism is becoming a serious problem in the US today, however this is another issue that our founders solved and again what we must do is very simple, just follow the plan they laid out for US.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:56 AM
id say what the government actually spend our taxes on.

i dont pay taxes anymore since i learned what they do with it and benefit fraud is payback in my book

# the government i wont go back to work untill we have a honest priminister running our country

( i think i'll be waiting a long time)

i'd sooner sell coke to yuppies

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 07:59 AM
reply to post by bisonpowers

Its exactly the same crime both are depriving the exchequer of funds the only legal difference is as you say the amount.
However, morally there is a huge difference benefit cheats are genrally only trying to survive,its not as if a life on benefits is easy, in the uk someone in reciept of job seekers alowance is living belowe the poverty line.
Where as someone who earns millions and cheats the tax system is symply being greedy and accumulating wealth which i think you would agree is massivly different.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:00 AM

Originally posted by studio500
For me they are both as bad as bad as each other.

If you engage in tax evasion it's a criminal offence.
If you fraudulently claim for benefits that you are not legally entitled to this also is a criminal offence.

There is no middle ground. Rich or Poor the act either way is illegal as both offences should be dealt with via the full force of the law.

Both should be dealt with but the person that has hurt the people of the country by 30 times more than the lesser person can afford to pay off officials and hire a lawyer to make the problem of being caught with prosecution pending go away... On the other, hand the person with little in the way of resources that took much less will be sent to jail, fined, and have a criminal record that could forever prevent him or her from ever being gainfully employed.... Both are bad but one is much worse yet because of his wealth he is not going to suffer.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:04 AM
As I understand it tax on your income is illegal in the United Stated under the original constitution, as for the UK I'm pretty sure it is legal and in many other countries too.

My argument would simply be that yes they are both wrong from a legal point of view, however I can understand why an uneducated person with little upbringing would make a fraudulent claim during a recession. Not saying it's right but I can understand it - when it comes to feeding your kids you're gonna do whatever it takes to get em fed!

When it comes to the ultra rich it's not like they are struggling to feed their families or to buy a place of their own, it's more of a matter of buying another tropical island or not, we can even debate whether owning several islands and luxury homes is even morally right but I'll leave that for another thread.

My point being they would probably be able to have everything they ever wanted and pay their taxes, there is simply no feasible excuse for these people - not a case of survival during hard times.

Now someone that left school with no qualification and can't find a job during hard times and has mouths to feed at least has the beginnings of an excuse.

With this being the case why do the media choose to pick on the poor rather than the rich when the poor have at least an excuse and are costing less in fraud than the rich whom have very little excuse?.

Both crimes being equal why is the little man made to feel like scum while the high and mighty are seen as role models?

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:18 AM
It's just like how a rich crook that seldom pays bills on time can easily be approved for credit and yet an honest person that has never been late paying a thing and owes nothing to anyone will have difficulty being approved for credit because they do not have very much in the way of a financial history.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:21 AM
I would say tax evasion as well.
Considerably More is hidden from the tax system than poor people scamming benefits.

Even IRS employees don't have to pay taxes if you think about it.
They can merely go into their own account and mark/check them off as paid !

Taxes are voluntary if you read the W4 form for deductions.
You volunteer to have wages deducted from your earnings..... with your signature.

Income taxes were originally created to tax corporations on profits made overseas.

When a former IRS agent after searching for the specific law requiring one to pay income taxes and asked to see the law mandating the income tax to be paid by ordinary citizens and not by corporations, she was hastily placed in jail for tax evasion.

They never did produce the explicit law...but instead stuffed her away in Prison

Perhaps this is why Corporations and the wealthy with their offshore trusts don't pay all ?!

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:26 AM
First as others said niether are acceptable.

The poor that defraud cannot afford lawyers to get them out of a fix when found out and so are easy meat.

The rich do not only avoid tax the also defraud tax but they can afford legal protection.

There is another thing to factor in. For capitalism to work there has to be poor to apply pressure to keep wages low. To promote fear of unemployment and to fill low paid jobs with little to no protection.

If these poor find a way to live on the dole as well as they would doing the low paid work then this is not fullfilling their given role so of course they have to keep being hammered.

On the otherhand the rich who again need the poor to keep their profits high are the ones in control. Why on earth would they persue their own and as they see it why on earth would they share the wealth fairly given that they need the poor to be poor?

What annoys me is the group that is two wage packets away from being poor join the rich in kicking those they may soon join instead of holding those they are very unlikely to join to book.
edit on 9-10-2011 by colin42 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 08:32 AM
reply to post by nh_ee

This is very true, it has happen on more than one occasion as well.

The truly sad part of these stories is that these were trials by jury.

The citizens that form the jury are so mis-informed that they will send another to prison for exercising their individual rights as a US citizen. HOW SAD !

edit on 9-10-2011 by brokedown because: spelling correction

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 09:12 AM
Tax evasion is good.

Legalized shakedowns shouldn't be acceptable, at least not in a civilized country.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 09:21 AM
Benefit fraud is far worse. The benefit cheat is stealing something from someone else and should be prosecuted for theft.

The money that the tax evader is attempting to hide from the government was never the government's to begin with. It is his money. The fruit of his labor. Seeking to hang onto more of it rather than submit it into an incompetent government is understandable.

Both are against the law, obviously, but the benefit cheat should be dealt with far more harshly

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 10:34 AM
Benefit fraud is poor people trying to get ahead while tax evasion is rich people trying to not give back to society when they can afford it.

posted on Oct, 9 2011 @ 10:43 AM
The way I see it is. Benifit fraud is wrong, but far worse is the rich man hiding or avoiding his taxs. Benifits are the poors rewards, for laying their lives down in the millions, in some rich mans war. These benifits were earned by the blood of our fathers and grandfathers. The govt has no right to cut them. Take it from the wealthy instead, Im sure they wouldnt miss a few quid. Which they have scammed from our country or soceity.
edit on 9-10-2011 by illuminnaughty because: (no reason given)

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