New Internationalist

The real scroungers are the super-rich


Reverse Robin Hood: David Cameron’s rhetoric against welfare claimants has moved to a new level. Photo by Robin Hood Tax under a CC Licence.

You couldn’t make this stuff up. We have a government made up of public school-educated, millionaire toffs, who live on another planet to the rest of us, presiding over the dismantling of the welfare state while their rich friends avoid paying taxes to the tune of billions of pounds every year. ‘Legally’ of course.

Although David Cameron has moralized and finger-wagged over Jimmy Carr’s little scheme, he says nothing about the rest of the tax avoiders. Yet now, on top of the welfare cuts already imposed, our beloved leader (alleged to be ‘worth’ £30 million himself) plans to end the right of people under 25 to claim housing benefit, forcing thousands to live with their parents or on the streets.

This is an attempt to slash another £10 billion from welfare benefits – on top of the billions he has already grabbed. The proposals have been attacked by charities as being likely to lead to a significant rise in homelessness among the young. And the Coalition may also be about to means-test pensioners’ benefits such as cheap travel and the winter fuel allowance, even though they pledged not to.

Of course there are some who take advantage of the system – the so-called scroungers. But what they ‘siphon’ off each year is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the billions fiddled by the wealthy. No, the truth is, most of those in receipt of welfare desperately need the money.

The real scroungers are the super-rich who use every trick their expensive accountants can devise to avoid paying tax. If the rich paid their taxes like the rest of us, there would be no need to keep attacking the meagre incomes of those on benefits. But Cameron hones in on the poor and vulnerable because they are an easy target.

It’s not the fault of those who rely on welfare that the economy is in a mess. We all know who is to blame – tax evaded by the wealthy in the UK amounts to almost £70 billion a year – yet they are the ones left free to go on ripping-off the country.

We must demand an end to this injustice. We could stop the cuts and collect tax due instead. That way we all win.

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  1. #1 LH Ld Elon 26 Jun 12

    Yes your right, absolutely, almost.
    i imagine, the way things are, remaining the same, for the next few years. :q
    The foolish Man is the wisest Man, but, who is a foolish Man, truly, nods gleefully. sol

    Free the flower.

    Hes the one that frees up space.
    When one dies, does one have to know, when one dies, ion quest.

  2. #2 Rantingsubversive 27 Jun 12

    Same old Tories I'm afraid. Worship the rich but punish the poor. It's all very scary stuff if the Tories get their way and get back in at the 2015 election.

    see:

    http://rantingsubversive.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/tories-declare-war-on-the-poor/

  3. #3 Phil Vanes 27 Jun 12

    If you read the Mail or the Sun, you would be forgiven for thinking that the unemployed or people on benefits are the scum of the earth. People looking for an easy life, living in great big mansions, going to the pub or betting shop everyday at the expense of the rest of us.

    Well let me tell you that I have been in that position and it is simply not true.

    If you don't believe me then just wait until your time comes as sooner or later for quite a large part of the population it surely will unless this bunch of freeloading, corrupt incompetents do something pretty drastic or else lose office pretty quick.

    Show me any Conservative government and I will show you unemployment, low wages, unsafe working conditions, longer hours and a minimum of public services. I could go on but I think you get the picture.

    Am I bitter, you bet I am.

  4. #4 Alan 28 Jun 12

    Phil, you are spot on. I'm afraid we haven't seen the worst of this... there is much more to come from this lot. I keep coming back to it: people are sleepwalking into a nightmare...
    Am I bitter too? You bloody bet I am!
    But is anyone else?

  5. #5 Briang 29 Jun 12

    The Upper Class will play... but it is the Middle Class that must pay.

  6. #6 Bernard Magny 10 Jul 12

    Alan Hughes says: “We must demand an end to this injustice. We could stop the cuts and collect tax due instead. That way we all win.”

    He is right, let’s make the rich pay until they all leave the country and give all that money to the case of Abu Qatada. Those lawyers needs to money.
    I think we should actually make it easier for comedian and other rich list members to pay less tax. This is like choosing between a bank account or an investment that gives you 1% return or one that gives you -5% because of administration fees.

    I am just a middle class 40% tax bracket family man, but more of those rich leaves more I will have to pay. I certainly can’t count on the benefit people to pay for my NHS, because you see, opposite of those rich that only pay 1%, I need the NHS.

  7. #7 Paul Sevcik 18 Jun 15

    This is an absolute truth. The super-rich are the biggest scroungers, not only because they pay no taxes, but as well because they actually DO NOT WORK. They do not work because they are so filthy rich that their money just make more money. The working poor are the ones who feed the rich. If all poor stopped working, the rich would eventually have to start making their own food, etc.

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About the author

Alan Hughes a New Internationalist contributor

Alan Hughes was a graphic artist at New Internationalist. He retired in 2014. He is a life-long socialist and trade unionist and is currently involved in the Keep Our NHS Public Campaign. He is passionate about The Beatles and has supported Aston Villa FC for over 50 years. He lives in Oxford with his daughter.

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