Monday, December 27, 2010

Crack Down on EU benefit fraud

The latest news that the Government are to crack down on those Brits who are living abroad who are falsely claiming benefits will be brought to book is good news but I hope the same is done to those EU workers who are claiming benefit ain this country and their own are dealt with as well I refer to the scam where some are claiming Child Allowances in both countries.

I recently had a few drinks with some old friends and was surprised by some of their ideas. For example for some years I was allowed to claim Disability benefit, have Blue badge and have free Car tax because of my Knee and hip. At the time I only applied for the Blue Badge but got the rest thrown in, I have to admit I did feel guilty about receiving the money but as I was repeatedly told I was entitled. After my last operation some 6 months later I felt great could walk a mile with no sticks so I thought it only right that I inform the relevant government department that I no longer was entitled to Disability Benefit, the first comment from the person I dealt with was I was the first person she had heard of that volunteered to stop disability benefit. I was then informed I would have to fill in a form they would evaluate the case and come back to me this took approx 3 months, the car tax was no different could not do it on line had to go through the paper version and send to the local department still waiting for that.

What shocked me was my friend’s attitude why did I stop it? Apart from the obvious it would have been fraud, it was the fact that I did not like being classified as a cripple; I feel I am an able bodied man again. This led on to many discussions, one being winter fuel allowance, I suggested that why should I get it as I have the funds to pay my own heating plus the country can not afford it. I was pilloried for that suggestion and was told it was my right, I was told if our government can pay millions on over seas aid, some which goes to wealthy countries like India, plus they can give millions to a foreign country like Ireland and billions to the EU why can’t they honour their debt to British Tax payers!

I am afraid I had to agree, we went back even further all of us are in our 60’s accept for little brother Nobby. When we let school and started work we entered into a Health Scheme called National Insurance, for being part of this scheme which we signed up for life we would be given certain privileges amongst them were Free Prescriptions, Free Eye tests, glasses and Free Dental care plus much more, yet we now have none of them privileges. So the question is if you signed up for life with an Independent Insurance company would they be allowed to alter your terms and conditions?

So after all that I have no hesitation in taking my winter fuel allowance but I still have no regrets stopping my disability benefit..

Martin Clarke

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