The mess of the Welfare State

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Craig Cockburn

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May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
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With a general election drawing closer, I thought it might be
appropriate to repost this and remind people how the Conservatives are
mismanaging the welfare state. This occured to me in January and a
letter from me on this subject was the lead letter in The Herald. More
information on my "campaigns" page off http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~craig/

Don't forget the Conservative QUADRUPLE WHAMMY

WHAMMY 1
- Unemployed and
NO DOLE
(despite 7 full years of NI contributions in the last 8)

WHAMMY 2
- Low income (1 persons wage less than the mortgage) and
NO SOCIAL SECURITY
(despite a requirement to pay for housing, food, lighting and heat)

WHAMMY 3
- You need to get a job, it's 400+ miles away in Newbury, the train
fare is 70 pounds (as quoted to me by BR at the notice I was given) and
YOU CANT GET IT PAID BY THE EMPLOYMENT SERVICE
(because the initial contract is less than 12 months)

WHAMMY 4
- My fiancee had just come out of hospital after a major operation,
has been off work for three weeks and was confined to bed. I had to
look after her and make her meals.
But, who makes her meals when I'm out attending an interview 400
miles away? Do I get any help from the state for this ?
NOT A PENNY

Give me what the Conservatives called Labour's "double whammy" anyday -
at least with higher taxes I might get something back for the taxes I
pay and not a nine month waiting list to get hospital treatment and a
welfare state which can't pay out due to Conservative generated Red
Tape.

The Conservatives have been in power for nearly 17 years. How much time
do they actually need to sort out this mess?


Following on from this there's the Tory Tortures:

1) We the Tory party believe in freedom of choice! We're famous for it!!
We graciously allowed the ferries to continue running when the channel
tunnel was built with private money
*TORY TORTURE* We don't belive in freedom of choice when the Skye Bridge
was built with private money, we forced the ferry to close and prevented
other attempts for a competing service.

2) We the Tory party require people to pay National Insurance
contributions if they are earning over a certain amount. This goes
towards your entitlement towards Unemployment Benefit and other things
*TORY TORTURE* Despite the payments of National Insurance being
mandatory, we're not going to make it mandatory on our part to pay back
if you're made unemployed. If you qualify, you'll get a fixed amount
irrespective of the size of contributions made. You might not qualify
for anything at all.

3) We the Tory party believe in empowering the individual and giving
them freedom of choice
*TORY TORTURE* 75% of the electorate in Scotland at the last election
favoured more power and choice from an Edinburgh based parliament.
We're still waiting.

4) We the Tory party will commission a bridge to Skye
*TORY TORTURE* Legally though, we'll call it a "rural road" and that way
it won't have to be lit like other major bridges on trunk roads.

5) We the Tory party believe in "Family Values"
*TORY TORTURE* We will manage a system from 1979 and still make it
beneficial for couples where one is working to split up so that they
can afford to eat and pay for accomodation if the main earner loses
their job. My situation:
If my fiancee give up her job, we would earn
280 social security + 430 mortgage from the state. = 710 /month
With her in her job, we earn
400 a month, her income.
State's incentive to me for her to give up her job = 310/month.

6) We the Tory party believe in the Six day week and extended working
hours (>50). This is what we make people in the NHS work and this is the
hours you have to put down if you want to claim full unemployment
benefit. British men under the Tory government also have the longest
average working hours in Europe.
*TORY TORTURE* But we legally define "full time work" as anything over
15 hours 59 minutes a week for the purposes of claiming Social Security
(less than 1/3 of the hours above)

7) We the Tory party believe that business should be more efficient.
We're always trying to make the NHS more efficient and claiming local
government wastes money.
*TORY TORTURE* Michael Heseltine said that he got rich by making late
payments in his publishing business. The Welfare State EVENTUALLY
coughed up the unemployment benefit I was due on 11th March. I signed on
the first week in January.
WELL OVER TWO MONTHS - call that prompt?

Do you know a *TORY TORTURE* ?

--
Craig Cockburn ("coburn"), Du\n E/ideann, Alba. (Edinburgh, Scotland)
http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~craig/
Sgri\obh thugam 'sa Gha\idhlig ma 'se do thoil e.

Gary Dale

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May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
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[..]

Yes, all very interesting. But if you want a _real_
double-barrelled whammy aimed at the welfare provision
the answer is simple: VOTE LABOUR.

Cheradenine Zakalwe

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May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
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In article <Zn3d46AJ...@scot.demon.co.uk>, Craig Cockburn
<cr...@scot.demon.co.uk> writes:
> [lots of stuff deleted]

>
>Do you know a *TORY TORTURE* ?
>

Their latest wheeze is to require unemployed people to pay for a
certificate to say they don't have a criminal record. Fortunately, they
are likely to be out of power before they get a chance to implement
this.

--
Zakalwe

Cheradenine Zakalwe

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May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
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In article <4obocf$7...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>, Gary Dale <g...@ee.ed.ac.uk>
writes:

They could hardly be worse than the Tories.

--
Zakalwe

Alan Rookes

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May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
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Cheradenine Zakalwe <zak...@vision25.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>In article <4obocf$7...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>, Gary Dale <g...@ee.ed.ac.uk>
>writes:

>>Yes, all very interesting. But if you want a _real_


>>double-barrelled whammy aimed at the welfare provision
>>the answer is simple: VOTE LABOUR.
>
>They could hardly be worse than the Tories.

After all those years in opposition, with nothing else to do
but impress the voters, this really is the best thing we've
got to say about them, isn't it ?

Alan

===============================================================================
The above article is the personal view of the poster and should not be
considered as an official comment from the JET Joint Undertaking
===============================================================================

Julian White

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May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
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Cheradenine Zakalwe (zak...@vision25.demon.co.uk) wrote:
:>>Do you know a *TORY TORTURE* ?
:>
:>Their latest wheeze is to require unemployed people to pay for a

:>certificate to say they don't have a criminal record. Fortunately, they
:>are likely to be out of power before they get a chance to implement
:>this.

Labour agree with the proposal, so it is likely to become reality whoever
forms the next Gvt.

:>Zakalwe

--
Julian. *A minimum wage will cost many jobs. You can't trust Labour.*


Gary Dale

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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>In article <4obocf$7...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>, Gary Dale <g...@ee.ed.ac.uk>
>writes:

>>[..]


>>
>>Yes, all very interesting. But if you want a _real_
>>double-barrelled whammy aimed at the welfare provision
>>the answer is simple: VOTE LABOUR.

>They could hardly be worse than the Tories.

Yes they could. Straw agreed with the proposals on
more vetting of employees criminal records - except he
wanted more extensive regulations to include employers
as well.

Labour is in the best position to attack welfare
provision, it's called "new thinking" or something.
We can tell how smart the Tories are by how they
cull Labour's rhetoric to undermine welfare.


>--
>Zakalwe

Cheradenine Zakalwe

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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In article <4oct8o$f...@gerry.cc.keele.ac.uk>, Julian White

<u4...@cc.keele.ac.uk> writes:
>Cheradenine Zakalwe (zak...@vision25.demon.co.uk) wrote:
>:>>Do you know a *TORY TORTURE* ?
>:>
>:>Their latest wheeze is to require unemployed people to pay for a
>:>certificate to say they don't have a criminal record. Fortunately, they
>:>are likely to be out of power before they get a chance to implement
>:>this.
>
>Labour agree with the proposal,

I suppose that is to be expected from Tony Blair's ToryLite party.

> so it is likely to become reality whoever
>forms the next Gvt.

Unless the Liberal Democrats win.

--
Zakalwe

Julian White

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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Cheradenine Zakalwe (zak...@vision25.demon.co.uk) wrote:

:>I suppose that is to be expected from Tony Blair's ToryLite party.

Just evidence that Tory policies work so well that the opposition party is
copying them.

:>> so it is likely to become reality whoever


:>>forms the next Gvt.
:>
:>Unless the Liberal Democrats win.

I don't think I can cope with Emma Nicholson being Chancellor.

:>Zakalwe

Julian.

Cheradenine Zakalwe

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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In article <4oevg5$r...@gerry.cc.keele.ac.uk>, Julian White

<u4...@cc.keele.ac.uk> writes:
>Cheradenine Zakalwe (zak...@vision25.demon.co.uk) wrote:
>
>:>I suppose that is to be expected from Tony Blair's ToryLite party.
>
>Just evidence that Tory policies work so well that the opposition party is
>copying them.

I think you meant to say "one of the opposition parties"

>:>> so it is likely to become reality whoever
>:>>forms the next Gvt.
>:>
>:>Unless the Liberal Democrats win.
>
>I don't think I can cope with Emma Nicholson being Chancellor.

Perhaps they'll made her home secretary instead. I'm sure she'd be an
improvement on Howard. (Come to think of it, a cowpat would be an
improvment on Howard.)

--
Zakalwe

Martin Green

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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What do you expect from a system that encourages apathy and dependency.

The system was introduced as a safety net from absolute poverty and to give the
weakest a fair chance in life by supporting them .

Unfortunately it has failed miserably, due to greed and the public taking
advantage of the system.


Peace,

Mart.

Gary Dale

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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Well it was always bound to fail. But what you seem to be suggesting
is turning back the clock to the pre-welfare era, which is no
solution at either.

The fact is that it is the market system which disempowers individuals,
and robs them of their independence. It is not lazy workers,
or even "poor managers" which are the problem, but capitalist recession
and the market itself. All welfare measures tend to do
is create a poverty trap and institutionalise dependency.
Rolling back welfare provision by scapegoating those with the
least independent means smacks of bigotry.


>Peace,

>Mart.

Nick Merritt

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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In article <4oh58o$r...@macondo.dmu.ac.uk>, c2...@dmu.ac.uk (Martin Green) wrote:

> What do you expect from a system that encourages apathy and dependency.
>
> The system was introduced as a safety net from absolute poverty and to
give the
> weakest a fair chance in life by supporting them .
>
> Unfortunately it has failed miserably, due to greed and the public taking
> advantage of the system.

'Failed'? Depends what your definition of failure is. The NHS has been a
rampant success by any standard (notice how the rot is setting in now
though with the so called market reforms). And we didn't see people on the
streets until the safety net began to be cut.

And it's natural that the public would take advantage of the system,
although fraud is pretty low (if that's what you're referring to). It's up
to the system to ensure that it can't be taken advantage of - there's no
point in just appealing to people's better nature.

It seems to be very fashionable to smear the welfare state but it has had
its successes as well as its failures. And we need to ensure that whatever
changes it goes through, we keep the elements that can help people through
the bad times, provide a decent education and look after our people's
health. At the very least.

Nick

Anthony Potts

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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On 29 May 1996, Nick Merritt wrote:

>
> 'Failed'? Depends what your definition of failure is. The NHS has been a
> rampant success by any standard (notice how the rot is setting in now

The NHS is a joke. Unfortunately, it is a joke that is killing people. I
had to wait a year for an operation on my knee after an accident, during
which time I could not kneel down. When I was eventually seen, I was
classified as "extremely urgent", as there was a chance that the wait was
going to cause irreperable damage to my main knee ligament. This is
completely at odds with the cradle to grave treatment which we were
promised. My GP is an idiot whom I wouldn't trust to mend my car let
alone fix my body, and every week we see cases of people dying due to a
lack of proper facilities. I can't remember how it was 17 years ago, but
I really doubt that it would have been any worse.

>
> And it's natural that the public would take advantage of the system,
> although fraud is pretty low (if that's what you're referring to). It's up


It is several billion pounds a year. I can get the exact figure if you
want, but it is not what I would call small.

Cheers.

Anthony Potts

PDF Harrison

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
to

Craig Cockburn (cr...@scot.demon.co.uk) wrote:
<snip>

: 4) We the Tory party will commission a bridge to Skye

: *TORY TORTURE* Legally though, we'll call it a "rural road" and that way
: it won't have to be lit like other major bridges on trunk roads.

<snip>

Which is the one good thing about the Skye bridge. At least at night
you can't see it.
IMO the only thing that should be lit on that bridge is a fuse to a
detonator and a very large quantity of gelignite.

Gavin


M.S. Robb

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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In article <LzvIdEAq...@vision25.demon.co.uk>,
Cheradenine Zakalwe <zak...@vision25.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>Perhaps they'll made her home secretary instead. I'm sure she'd be an
>improvement on Howard. (Come to think of it, a cowpat would be an
>improvment on Howard.)

Beats the toupee he seems to prefer.


--
There is no excuse. uk.politics Resource Page
There is no accusation. http://gromit.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/~matt/ukpres.html

James Hammerton

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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Gary Dale (g...@ee.ed.ac.uk) wrote:
> In <4oh58o$r...@macondo.dmu.ac.uk> c2...@dmu.ac.uk (Martin Green) writes:

> >What do you expect from a system that encourages apathy and dependency.

> >The system was introduced as a safety net from absolute poverty and to give the
> >weakest a fair chance in life by supporting them .

> >Unfortunately it has failed miserably, due to greed and the public taking
> >advantage of the system.

> Well it was always bound to fail. But what you seem to be suggesting


> is turning back the clock to the pre-welfare era, which is no
> solution at either.

> The fact is that it is the market system which disempowers individuals,
> and robs them of their independence. It is not lazy workers,
> or even "poor managers" which are the problem, but capitalist recession
> and the market itself. All welfare measures tend to do
> is create a poverty trap and institutionalise dependency.
> Rolling back welfare provision by scapegoating those with the
> least independent means smacks of bigotry.

What do you suggest then?

James

--
James Hammerton, PhD Student, School of Computer Science,
University of Birmingham | Email: J.A.Ha...@cs.bham.ac.uk
WWW Home Page: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~jah
Connectionist NLP WWW Page: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~jah/CNLP/cnlp.html


M.Warren.

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May 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/31/96
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Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> wrote:
>
>
>On 29 May 1996, Nick Merritt wrote:
>
>>
>> 'Failed'? Depends what your definition of failure is. The NHS has been a
>> rampant success by any standard (notice how the rot is setting in now
>
>The NHS is a joke. Unfortunately, it is a joke that is killing people. I
>had to wait a year for an operation on my knee after an accident, during
>which time I could not kneel down. When I was eventually seen, I was
>classified as "extremely urgent", as there was a chance that the wait was
>going to cause irreperable damage to my main knee ligament. This is
>completely at odds with the cradle to grave treatment which we were
>promised. My GP is an idiot whom I wouldn't trust to mend my car let
>alone fix my body, and every week we see cases of people dying due to a
>lack of proper facilities. I can't remember how it was 17 years ago, but
>I really doubt that it would have been any worse.
>


yes,.that it what the poster said!

>>
>> And it's natural that the public would take advantage of the system,
>> although fraud is pretty low (if that's what you're referring to). It's up
>
>
>It is several billion pounds a year. I can get the exact figure if you
>want, but it is not what I would call small.
>
>Cheers.
>
>Anthony Potts

well..its less than the amount lost though Tax evasion...we dont here
Torys at conferences ranting about tax evaders..now do we?
Mike.


Megan Farr

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May 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/31/96
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Craig Cockburn <cr...@scot.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> The Welfare State EVENTUALLY
>coughed up the unemployment benefit I was due on 11th March. I signed on
>the first week in January.
>WELL OVER TWO MONTHS - call that prompt?

>Do you know a *TORY TORTURE* ?

Well done, October 95 and still waiting for the first seven months
worth here. I am at least getting my £48 a week on time now. A new
Tory jape, lets just tell people they don't qualify for UB when
actually they do! Then make it really difficult for them to claim
£1200 in back payments due.

It took me 6 months to get hold of £36 of income supprt one time.

Megan


Iain Rowan

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Jun 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/3/96
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In article
<Pine.SOL.3.91c.96052...@cms6.cern.ch>,
po...@afsmail.cern.ch says...
>
(of social security fraud etc)

>It is several billion pounds a year. I can get the exact figure if you
>want, but it is not what I would call small.
>
Interestingly enough, according to some figures I once saw, the
estimated loss to fraud of the benefits system was far lower
than the loss to fraud in the tax system. The time and resources
invested in detection and prevention were much higher for
social security. Does anyone have these figures - I'd be
interested to see what they actually were. Funny, I can never
remember a Tory Minister standing up at Party Conference and
condemning tax fraud and evasion like they do social security
fraud.
--
Iain Rowan iain....@sunderland.ac.uk

All half-baked opinions, wild assertions and misguided
attempts at humour are down to me, not my employer.


Anthony Potts

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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On 3 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:

> remember a Tory Minister standing up at Party Conference and
> condemning tax fraud and evasion like they do social security
> fraud.
> --
> Iain Rowan iain....@sunderland.ac.uk
>


According to my source at the DSS, in London, the fraud is estimated to
be at around 4 billion pounds per year. I think that about a billion of
this is housing benefit fraud, and about 2 billion is from people
claiming illegally while they are working. I wasn't told what the rest
was, but I assume that it is a lot of small different amounts, like
people lying about the age of their children, to keep getting child
benefit, and so on.

Anyway you look at it, 4 billion pounds is quite a fair amount from the
total benefits bill, especially when it is reducing the amount available
to the genuinely needy.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Andrew Cooke

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms4.cern.ch>
Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> writes:

>On 3 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:

>> remember a Tory Minister standing up at Party Conference and
>> condemning tax fraud and evasion like they do social security
>> fraud.

>According to my source at the DSS, in London, the fraud is estimated to

>be at around 4 billion pounds per year. I think that about a billion of
>this is housing benefit fraud, and about 2 billion is from people
>claiming illegally while they are working. I wasn't told what the rest
>was, but I assume that it is a lot of small different amounts, like
>people lying about the age of their children, to keep getting child
>benefit, and so on.

>Anyway you look at it, 4 billion pounds is quite a fair amount from the
>total benefits bill, especially when it is reducing the amount available
>to the genuinely needy.

I suspect tax evasion, both illegal and use of arcane loopholes, adds up to
substantially more than 4 billion.

andy

gareth.ellis

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
to

Corporate Fraud is where the big money is, and small business fraud, the
problem is that the system is designed to accomodate this type of fraud,
when they out a penny on tax etc, they expect that they only really get
o.5 p in real terms. I often see people cheating the taxes, unfortunatly
where i work at least ten to twenty times a day i see the middle classes
cheating. Yep, everytime they bring there BMW etc there Rover etc, they
take a receipt for there fuel purchases, and the saying 'Oh, Giles, should
i put this on the business account?' rings around, of course not only do
they put there living expenses as business expenses they also get a wad
back through vat reimbursement.


Gaz

Iain Rowan

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms4.cern.ch>,
po...@afsmail.cern.ch says...

>
>
>
>On 3 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:
>
>> remember a Tory Minister standing up at Party Conference and
>> condemning tax fraud and evasion like they do social security
>> fraud.
>> --
>> Iain Rowan iain....@sunderland.ac.uk

>>
>
>
>
>According to my source at the DSS, in London, the fraud is estimated to
>be at around 4 billion pounds per year. I think that about a billion of
>this is housing benefit fraud, and about 2 billion is from people
>claiming illegally while they are working. I wasn't told what the rest
>was, but I assume that it is a lot of small different amounts, like
>people lying about the age of their children, to keep getting child
>benefit, and so on.
>
>Anyway you look at it, 4 billion pounds is quite a fair amount from the
>total benefits bill, especially when it is reducing the amount available
>to the genuinely needy.
>
I don't dispute that, and if you read my post, I didn't dispute that.

I don't condone benefit fraud. I am just unhappy that tax fraud, which
AFAIK is larger, and which is generally committed by people who have
more comfortable lives to start out with, never gets mentioned, whilst
benefit fraud is demonised at every opportunity. One gets the distinct
impression that benefit fraud is viewed as a greater social evil than tax
fraud/evasion.

Your post seems to take that line, completely ignoring the central point I
was making, and reiterating the facts about benefit fraud that we are all
already familiar with.

Andrew Cooke

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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Don't be daft. That's not fraud. It's 'enterprise'. ;-)

andy

Anthony Potts

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
to


On Tue, 4 Jun 1996, Andrew Cooke wrote:

> >Anyway you look at it, 4 billion pounds is quite a fair amount from the
> >total benefits bill, especially when it is reducing the amount available
> >to the genuinely needy.
>

> I suspect tax evasion, both illegal and use of arcane loopholes, adds up to
> substantially more than 4 billion.
>
> andy
>

Well, it could, but it could also be a lot less, and it is a lot more
difficult to stamp out. Come on now, I did my homework, urely someone out
there will get off their arse and find out the estimates for tax fraud.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Anthony Potts

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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On 4 Jun 1996, gareth.ellis wrote:

> take a receipt for there fuel purchases, and the saying 'Oh, Giles, should
> i put this on the business account?' rings around, of course not only do
> they put there living expenses as business expenses they also get a wad
> back through vat reimbursement.
>
>

> Gaz
>
>
But if they are allowed to put petrol on their business account, it is
not really tax evasion, is it?

There is no law that says that you must arrange your finances in such a
way as to pay the most tax. The fact that people have accountants to tell
thyem how to make use of the tax laws is fair enough. They are paying the
amount of tax that the law requires, just the same way as you are (or
will be).

Surely you don't expect them to arrange their finances in the worst way.
For example, imagine you were shopping in Next, and there was an offer which
allowed you to take two items, and only pay for the most expensive one.
Now, someone could buy two 500 pound suits, and save 500 pounds, whereas
you might decide to buy one, and to also buy a pair of socks.

Now, is it now right to complain that the other person is ripping the
shop off, as he got away with a lot more than you did? Of course it isn't.

So, whilst I do not condone tax fraud, there is a world of difference
between that and simply using the laws sensibly. That is why we employ
accountants, to pus things to the line, but not beyond.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts
Geneva

gareth.ellis

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
to

Anthony Potts (po...@afsmail.cern.ch) wrote:


: >
: >
: But if they are allowed to put petrol on their business account, it is

: not really tax evasion, is it?


It is. You are falsly claiming business expenses which dont exist. You are
in actual fact evading paying taxation. Just as criminal as shoplifting,
just more socially acceptible


: Anthony Potts
: Geneva

Gareth,
Carlisle (better then Newcastle, even on a rainy day)

Jon Livesey

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Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
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In article <4oum8s$i...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>,
Iain Rowan <IAIN....@Sunderland.Ac.UK> wrote:
>
> Funny, I can never

>remember a Tory Minister standing up at Party Conference and
>condemning tax fraud and evasion like they do social security
>fraud.

I must admit I am very puzzled by this remark. Isn't there in
fact an entire Government department whose job is to deal with
tax fraud and evasion? Called something like the Internal
Revenue Service?

jon.

veg

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to Andrew Cooke, sun...@bbc.co.uk

Andrew Cooke wrote:
>
> In article <4p184r$c...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk> oa4...@zen.sunderland.ac.uk (gareth.ellis) writes:
>
> >Corporate Fraud is where the big money is

> Don't be daft. That's not fraud. It's 'enterprise'. ;-)

Should "enterprise" dictate, for example, the acceptable level of
cyanide in bread ?! I wonder ....

Sherry Mayo

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms4.cern.ch>,

Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> wrote:
>Anyway you look at it, 4 billion pounds is quite a fair amount from the
>total benefits bill, especially when it is reducing the amount available
>to the genuinely needy.

I don't think anyone in this thread is condoning benefit fraud, but more
the way that tax fraud is not treated as seriously. My dad has worked
in both DSS and inland revenue, and was rather irritated by the way the
DSS would persue a 60 quid fraud with great zeal, whereas companies that
fiddled their VAT were let off much more lightly provided they paid up
next time. VAT and tax fraud involve far greater amounts of money and
if some of the DSS zeal was applied to these areas, it would provide far
greater returns per amount of effort in recovered revenue.

Sherry

--
Sheridan C. Mayo | Crystallography, Diffuse Scattering
RSC, ANU, Australia | http://rschp2.anu.edu.au:8080/Welcome.html
scm...@rschp2.anu.edu.au | Caving, Crypto & PGP, X-files, and more.

Anthony Potts

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to


On 4 Jun 1996, gareth.ellis wrote:

> Anthony Potts (po...@afsmail.cern.ch) wrote:
>
>
> : >
> : >
> : But if they are allowed to put petrol on their business account, it is
> : not really tax evasion, is it?
>
>
> It is. You are falsly claiming business expenses which dont exist. You are
> in actual fact evading paying taxation. Just as criminal as shoplifting,
> just more socially acceptible

Hmmm. I said that if it was a valid business expense (and a lot of
businesses do pay for their employees petrol, irrespective of whether
they are travelling home, to work, or between meetings), then it was OK,
as it was legal. You then claim that valid business practice is illegal.

I am afraid that you have lost me on that one. Could you perhaps explain
it to me.

> Gareth,
> Carlisle (better then Newcastle, even on a rainy day)
>
>

Which is, I suppose, why you have 2.5 million people in and around
Newcastle, rather than in and around your appealing Northern town, is it?

How many of Carlisle's players are in the England squad? What, none you
say, surely a town of the quality of carlisle is able to attract world
class players to its club? Well I never, such a nice pleasant town
without a decent football side to its name, without Europe's largest out
of town shopping complex, still attracting such fierce loyalties from its
inhabitants.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Iain Rowan

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

In article <4p2cvl$5...@fido.asd.sgi.com>,
liv...@pirate.engr.sgi.com says...
Try reading it again. Did I say that there are no efforts made to
catch or prevent tax fraud and tax evasion? No. Did I say that
there are no systems for enforcing the tax laws? No. I said that
I despise the way Ministers demonize those who defraud the
benefit system and remain silent about those who defraud the
tax system. There is a large amount of funding directed at those
units which tackle benefit fraud. It is no different from tax fraud.
Yet one is frequently mentioned as an example of the depths to
which this country is descending, and the other is not. I find
this strange and not a little hypocritical.

Clear enough?

gareth.ellis

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

Anthony Potts (po...@afsmail.cern.ch) wrote:


: >
: Which is, I suppose, why you have 2.5 million people in and around

: Newcastle, rather than in and around your appealing Northern town, is it?

Oh well Mr potts as I am sure your girlfriend keeps telling you, size isnt
everything, other wise we would all like to live in Mexico City.

: How many of Carlisle's players are in the England squad? What, none you

: say, surely a town of the quality of carlisle is able to attract world
: class players to its club?

Football is purely a financial institution. The size of the club is often
represented by the size of its potential audience, therefore a large city
will obvoiusly have the means to a larger club.

: without a decent football side to its name, without Europe's largest out

: of town shopping complex, still attracting such fierce loyalties from its
: inhabitants.

: Cheers,

: Anthony Potts

nope of the above quantify why newcastle is good, in actual fact, in terms
of shopping, Carlisle is the second most facilitated city in the country
second to Oxford Street in London.
(source: Evening News and Star, local paper, 3rd of June)

gaz

John Lynch

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

In article <4p41m9$q...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>, "gareth.ellis"
<oa4...@zen.sunderland.ac.uk> writes

in terms of shopping, Carlisle is the second most facilitated city


Aaaarrgh! "facilitated" and "in terms of" -- two of my most detested
expressions in one sentence
--
John Lynch


Melissa Porter

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

John, how do you feel about "utilize"?

Melissa
--------------------------------------------
The fundamentals of being human don't change
with the labels we apply to them.

Susan Spence

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

John Lynch (jly...@ldta.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: In article <4p41m9$q...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>, "gareth.ellis"
: <oa4...@zen.sunderland.ac.uk> writes

: in terms of shopping, Carlisle is the second most facilitated city


: Aaaarrgh! "facilitated" and "in terms of" -- two of my most detested
: expressions in one sentence

What does "facilitated" mean in terms of the above sentence?


heheheheh

Cheradenine Zakalwe

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

In article <4p2mbd$3...@manuel.anu.edu.au>, Sherry Mayo

<scm...@rschp2.anu.edu.au> writes:
>In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms4.cern.ch>,
>Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> wrote:
>>Anyway you look at it, 4 billion pounds is quite a fair amount from the
>>total benefits bill, especially when it is reducing the amount available
>>to the genuinely needy.
>
>I don't think anyone in this thread is condoning benefit fraud,

I think it would depend on the circumstances. I was talking to my mum
the other day and she told me that she wouldn't shop someone who was
fiddling the DSS. Nor would I, unless it was someone I had a grudge
against, and I expect lots of people are the same.

> but more
>the way that tax fraud is not treated as seriously. My dad has worked
>in both DSS and inland revenue, and was rather irritated by the way the
>DSS would persue a 60 quid fraud with great zeal, whereas companies that
>fiddled their VAT were let off much more lightly provided they paid up
>next time. VAT and tax fraud involve far greater amounts of money and
>if some of the DSS zeal was applied to these areas, it would provide far
>greater returns per amount of effort in recovered revenue.

I think fraud should be treated seriously or otherwise depending on the
amount of fraud. A #50,000 fraud is a thousand times more serious than a
#50 one, and a 50 million fraud is a thousand times more serious again.

--
Zakalwe

Anthony Potts

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to


On 5 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:

> benefit system and remain silent about those who defraud the
> tax system. There is a large amount of funding directed at those
> units which tackle benefit fraud. It is no different from tax fraud.
> Yet one is frequently mentioned as an example of the depths to
> which this country is descending, and the other is not. I find
> this strange and not a little hypocritical.
>
> Clear enough?
>

I will explain why the ministers can mention one, and not the other.
There are extensive measures in place to combat tax evasion, a whole
department worth of them. There are sod all measures in place,
relatively, to stop benefit fraud. Ministers want benefit fraud stopped
just like they want tax fraud stopped.

Now, should they rant about tax fraud, which is already being dealt with,
or should they rant about benefit fraud, which the government is
currently not doing much about?

I personally think taht there is not much point in shouting about the one
which is already being dealt with, and it makes much more sense to draw
people's attention to thye fraud which people are allowed to get away
with. If you think that this is unfair, then that is your decision, but
you can't pretend that there is no reason for it. There are very good
reasons for it. There is a huge wrangle inside whitehall to do something
about this, and it is only to be expected that ministers talk about it.

Please tell us just what is so wrong with this state of affairs? Tax
frauds are pursued, ministers want benefit frauds pursued as well. How on
earth can you condemn such a stand?

I rally would like to know this one.

As to your comment about there being a large amount of money directed at
those departments tackling benefit fraud, I think that you are wrong. In
fact, I know that you are wrong, seeing as how my fiancee is rather
senior in the benefits fraud department of the DSS. I would be very
interested to see where on earth your conflicting facts come from.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Jon Livesey

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Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

In article <4p3ubf$n...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>,

Iain Rowan <IAIN....@Sunderland.Ac.UK> wrote:
>In article <4p2cvl$5...@fido.asd.sgi.com>,
>liv...@pirate.engr.sgi.com says...
>>
>>In article <4oum8s$i...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>,
>>Iain Rowan <IAIN....@Sunderland.Ac.UK> wrote:
>>>
>>> Funny, I can never
>>> remember a Tory Minister standing up at Party Conference and
>>> condemning tax fraud and evasion like they do social security
>>> fraud.
>>
>> I must admit I am very puzzled by this remark. Isn't there in
>> fact an entire Government department whose job is to deal with
>> tax fraud and evasion? Called something like the Internal
>> Revenue Service?
>
> Try reading it again. Did I say that there are no efforts made to
> catch or prevent tax fraud and tax evasion? No. Did I say that
> there are no systems for enforcing the tax laws? No. I said that
> I despise the way Ministers demonize those who defraud the
> benefit system and remain silent about those who defraud the
> tax system. There is a large amount of funding directed at those
> units which tackle benefit fraud. It is no different from tax fraud.
> Yet one is frequently mentioned as an example of the depths to
> which this country is descending, and the other is not. I find
> this strange and not a little hypocritical.
>
> Clear enough?

Not only clear, but in fact this is exactly the point I was making.

It's moronic to complain about Ministers not making speeches about
an abuse when they have already *take* *action* to curb it.

jon.

Anthony Potts

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to


On Wed, 5 Jun 1996, Cheradenine Zakalwe wrote:

>
> I think it would depend on the circumstances. I was talking to my mum
> the other day and she told me that she wouldn't shop someone who was
> fiddling the DSS. Nor would I, unless it was someone I had a grudge
> against, and I expect lots of people are the same.
>

Well, there is not a bottomless pit for social security, and it is people
thinking like you who are costing the genuinely needy money. If someone
is working and signing on, why on earth would you not report them? They
are breaking the law, and stealing money. Would you equally not report
someone who had robbed a bank, on the basis that the bank has plenty of
money anyway, as this is what you are in effect doing?

>
> I think fraud should be treated seriously or otherwise depending on the
> amount of fraud. A #50,000 fraud is a thousand times more serious than a
> #50 one, and a 50 million fraud is a thousand times more serious again.
>

Yes, and a 4 billion pound fraud is very serious indeed. It is terrible
that you would not report someone cheating on benefits. There are
millions of people in this country who struggle by on the basic
allowances, and would never dream of turning to crime. Why on earth would
you let criminals get away with what they are doing? Why should some
people be allowed to get money just because they have no honour or decency.

It really annoys me, people standing by when crimes are being committed.
I hope that you never need help with solving a crime against you, only to
find that there is no-one willing to shop the guilty, although it would
be a rather just outcome.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Jon Livesey

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms1.cern.ch>,

Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> wrote:
>
> Well, there is not a bottomless pit for social security, and it is people
> thinking like you who are costing the genuinely needy money. If someone
> is working and signing on, why on earth would you not report them? They
> are breaking the law, and stealing money. Would you equally not report
> someone who had robbed a bank, on the basis that the bank has plenty of
> money anyway, as this is what you are in effect doing?

You raise a good point. The Beeb did a radio show the other
evening on the subject of victims, and interviewed a young woman
who had been brutalised during a bank hold-up, with the result
that she had been unable to work for several months, was unable
to communicate with her husband and children, and was eventually
hospitalized for psychological trauma.

After treatment got her to the point where she could function
again, it was suggested to her that if she talked to the bandits,
who had been caught and jailed, it might be good for both of
them. She by seeing that they were just bullies, and not the
monsters of her nightmares, and they by finally realising how
much harm they had done to another human being.

Eventually she met them under supervision in their jail, and she
related, with evident amazement, that after she told them what
she had been through after the raid, one of the robbers broke
down and cried. He said that until that moment he hadn't
realised that there was even the possibility of a bank hold-up
harming people because, after all, banks aren't people and it
isn't people being robbed, just a company.

And it's even easier to come to the conclusion that it is "just"
social security, I suppose.

jon.

Gary Dale

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In <4p690r$e...@fido.asd.sgi.com> liv...@pirate.engr.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:

>In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms1.cern.ch>,
>Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> wrote:

[..]

Children! If you would all like to gather around on the
carpet in the corner, teacher has a story:

>You raise a good point. The Beeb did a radio show the other
>evening on the subject of victims, and interviewed a young woman
>who had been brutalised during a bank hold-up, with the result
>that she had been unable to work for several months, was unable
>to communicate with her husband and children, and was eventually
>hospitalized for psychological trauma.

>After treatment got her to the point where she could function
>again, it was suggested to her that if she talked to the bandits,
>who had been caught and jailed, it might be good for both of
>them. She by seeing that they were just bullies, and not the
>monsters of her nightmares, and they by finally realising how
>much harm they had done to another human being.

>Eventually she met them under supervision in their jail, and she
>related, with evident amazement, that after she told them what
>she had been through after the raid, one of the robbers broke
>down and cried. He said that until that moment he hadn't
>realised that there was even the possibility of a bank hold-up
>harming people because, after all, banks aren't people and it
>isn't people being robbed, just a company.


[What ever happened to the days of John McVicar, armed blagger
who in his film protrayal shot a security guard with a sawn-off'
and said afterwards: "...a few pellets in his leg, summit' to
tell his mates about". Todays villains - just not the
same!]

>And it's even easier to come to the conclusion that it is "just"
>social security, I suppose.

Oh what a choker! A story with a moral! Now, put those violins
and tissues away.

Actually, I have a very simple solution to stop most of
this fraud. Make sure there a jobs available with a decent
rate of pay that don't require supplementing with such benefits.
And make sure benefits are sufficient so that people don't
have to work on the side to have a decent standard of living.

There's no-end of ways in which politicians can morally scapegoat
those at the sharpest end of society - "benefit fraud" is just
one more.


--Gary

"ask 'the unaskable', think 'the unthinkable', demand 'the impossible'"


Iain Rowan

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <4p522f$o...@fido.asd.sgi.com>, liv...@pirate.engr.sgi.com
Ah well, forgive me for being moronic, because I'm about to do it again.

1)There is already *action** being** taken* to combat benefit fraud.
Yet still the speeches come. How so?

2)Ministers may have taken action against both tax and benefit fraud,
but problems evidently still exist in both areas.

I can see no difference between the two, yet apparently Cabinet
Ministers can, and I wonder why.

I've also noticed that you seem to have an inability to respond to any
posts, from anyone, on any subject, without degenerating into an ad
hominem attack or various varieties of personal abuse. You ought to try
and lighten up a bit and relax. You'll live longer.

Iain Rowan

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms1.cern.ch>,
po...@afsmail.cern.ch says...

>
>On 5 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:
>
>> benefit system and remain silent about those who defraud the
>> tax system. There is a large amount of funding directed at those
>> units which tackle benefit fraud. It is no different from tax fraud.
>> Yet one is frequently mentioned as an example of the depths to
>> which this country is descending, and the other is not. I find
>> this strange and not a little hypocritical.
>>
>> Clear enough?
>>
>I will explain why the ministers can mention one, and not the other.
>There are extensive measures in place to combat tax evasion, a whole
>department worth of them. There are sod all measures in place,
>relatively, to stop benefit fraud. Ministers want benefit fraud stopped
>just like they want tax fraud stopped.
>
>Now, should they rant about tax fraud, which is already being dealt with,
>or should they rant about benefit fraud, which the government is
>currently not doing much about?

Oh come on. The government has introduced new measures to counter-act
benefit fraud seemingly every year. It certainly has been a staple of
party conferences, where every year Ministers stand up and tell their
adoring audience how terrible these welfare scroungers and fraudsters
are, and how they're damn well going to do something about it.

Either they are lying and never take action, or there have been a whole
raft of measures introduced to deal with benefit fraud.


>
>I personally think taht there is not much point in shouting about the one
>which is already being dealt with, and it makes much more sense to draw
>people's attention to thye fraud which people are allowed to get away
>with. If you think that this is unfair, then that is your decision, but
>you can't pretend that there is no reason for it. There are very good
>reasons for it. There is a huge wrangle inside whitehall to do something
>about this, and it is only to be expected that ministers talk about it.
>

People are no more *allowed* to get away with benefit fraud than they
are with tax fraud. The fact that such a large department exists to deal with tax
fraud implies that it is a problem of much greater proportion.

>Please tell us just what is so wrong with this state of affairs? Tax
>frauds are pursued, ministers want benefit frauds pursued as well. How on
>earth can you condemn such a stand?
>
>I rally would like to know this one.

Err, I don't condemn them for wanting benefit fraud pursued. I think it's wrong,
and that it is perfectly proper to try and stop people doing it. The government
ministers are not complaining about the lack of provision for detection and
prosecution of benefit fraud - they are complaininga bout the people who
commit it. This is fine, I have no problem with this. But I believe a greater
amount of money is lost to the nation through tax fraud, DESPITE the
existence of such a large and well funded department as the IR. So I would
dearly love to see a bit of condemning of those who defraud the tax or VAT
system. Simple really.


>
>As to your comment about there being a large amount of money directed at
>those departments tackling benefit fraud, I think that you are wrong. In
>fact, I know that you are wrong, seeing as how my fiancee is rather
>senior in the benefits fraud department of the DSS. I would be very
>interested to see where on earth your conflicting facts come from.
>

My wife works in the Employment Service who have a very active fraud unit.
Of course if I spoke to somebody from ES fraud they'd claim that they were
underfunded for what they need to do. But then I should imagine that if I
spoke to someone who works for the Inland Revenue pursuing tax fraudsters
they would claim to be underfunded for what they need to do. I have a friend
who works for HM Customs, who are responsible for VAT and excise fraud,
and they think that they are underfunded for what they need to do.

Part of my reasoning for believing that there has been an ever increasing
amount of money directed at tackling benefit fraud is that the government
have been saying year on year that this is what they have been doing. It's
never been challenged by the media or the opposition so I would guess this is
what they have been doing.

Cheradenine Zakalwe

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms1.cern.ch>,

Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> writes:
>On Wed, 5 Jun 1996, Cheradenine Zakalwe wrote:
>
>> I think it would depend on the circumstances. I was talking to my mum
>> the other day and she told me that she wouldn't shop someone who was
>> fiddling the DSS. Nor would I, unless it was someone I had a grudge
>> against, and I expect lots of people are the same.
>>
>Well, there is not a bottomless pit for social security, and it is people
>thinking like you who are costing the genuinely needy money.

This is not true, for two reasons.

1. any money saved wouldn't go to the "genuinely needy" it would go on
pre-election tax cuts. The Tories hate the poor, so they aren't going to
put up the level of benefits.

2. When people on SS have a job on the side, they are making themselves,
and society as a whole, better off.

Under the present system, people lose one pound of benefit for every
pound they earn. So to make themselves better off, they would have to
get a job that pays significantly over the level of income support +
housing benefit they get. Often such a job isn't available. If the only
job they can get pays less, they have to continue to claim to make it
worth their while doing the job. This is one reason why the level of
unemplyment is so high. The present system shlould be abolished, and
replaced with one that doesn't stifle initiative.

People should be prevented from helping themselves by stupid rules like
this that criminalise people who try to make their lives better.

> If someone
>is working and signing on, why on earth would you not report them? They
>are breaking the law,

It is a bad law. Similarly, I wouldn't report someone for smoking pot.
That is also a bad law.

> and stealing money.

To be pedantic, it is fraud not theft.

>Would you equally not report
>someone who had robbed a bank, on the basis that the bank has plenty of
>money anyway, as this is what you are in effect doing?

I would report someone in that circumstance. Although having said that I
do think the banks are guilty of sharp practise and ripping their
customers off.

>
>>
>> I think fraud should be treated seriously or otherwise depending on the
>> amount of fraud. A #50,000 fraud is a thousand times more serious than a
>> #50 one, and a 50 million fraud is a thousand times more serious again.
>>
>Yes, and a 4 billion pound fraud is very serious indeed. It is terrible
>that you would not report someone cheating on benefits. There are
>millions of people in this country who struggle by on the basic
>allowances, and would never dream of turning to crime. Why on earth would
>you let criminals get away with what they are doing? Why should some
>people be allowed to get money just because they have no honour or decency.
>
>It really annoys me, people standing by when crimes are being committed.
>I hope that you never need help with solving a crime against you, only to
>find that there is no-one willing to shop the guilty, although it would
>be a rather just outcome.
>
>Cheers,
>
>Anthony Potts

--
Zakalwe

Jon Livesey

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Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <4p6fr8$m...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>, Gary Dale <g...@ee.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>
> Actually, I have a very simple solution to stop most of
> this fraud. Make sure there a jobs available with a decent
> rate of pay that don't require supplementing with such benefits.
> And make sure benefits are sufficient so that people don't
> have to work on the side to have a decent standard of living.

Er, I hate to point out the obvious, but in this case the fraud
is being carried out by people who *do* have jobs. They work
at their job and they also claim SS.

Please explain how this simplistic garbage about "get everyone
a job" is going to put a stop to that.

jon.

Dr A. N. Walker

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Jun 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/7/96
to

Jon Livesey wrote:
> Er, I hate to point out the obvious, but in this case the fraud
> is being carried out by people who *do* have jobs. [...]
> Please explain how this simplistic garbage about "get everyone
> a job" is going to put a stop to that.

Well, that's easy. Once everyone has a job, whether they want one
or not, and once we have MW in place so that all the jobs are well-paid,
there will be no need for unemployment benefit or income support, so no
benefit, and no benefit fraud. Voila!

--
Andy Walker, Maths Dept., Nott'm Univ., UK.
a...@maths.nott.ac.uk

Gary Dale

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Jun 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/7/96
to

In <4p7jvd$7...@fido.asd.sgi.com> liv...@pirate.engr.sgi.com (Jon Livesey) writes:

>In article <4p6fr8$m...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>, Gary Dale <g...@ee.ed.ac.uk> wrote:
>>
>> Actually, I have a very simple solution to stop most of
>> this fraud. Make sure there a jobs available with a decent
>> rate of pay that don't require supplementing with such benefits.
>> And make sure benefits are sufficient so that people don't
>> have to work on the side to have a decent standard of living.

>Er, I hate to point out the obvious, but in this case the fraud


>is being carried out by people who *do* have jobs. They work
>at their job and they also claim SS.

Not sure I follow. Are you saying that all those people in
white-collar jobs with wages at or above the national average
are the ones defrauding the SS? Is the anti-fraud drive
directed at barristers who claim income support to supplement
their earnings? No, the anti-fraud drive is about the
sort of people on the bottem of the pile: people who have
to subsidise their crap wages. The sort of people protrayed
in Bleasdale's "Boys from Blackstuff", or Loache's "Riff Raff"
and "Raining Stones".

>Please explain how this simplistic garbage about "get everyone
>a job" is going to put a stop to that.

Your sneering attitude to the _idea_ of full employment is duly
noted.

But you are right, it is simple. If everyone has a job with
a decent rate of pay, then they would have no need to defraud
the SS.

Anthony Potts

unread,
Jun 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/7/96
to


On 6 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:

>
> 1)There is already *action** being** taken* to combat benefit fraud.
> Yet still the speeches come. How so?
>

What action?

> 2)Ministers may have taken action against both tax and benefit fraud,
> but problems evidently still exist in both areas.
>
> I can see no difference between the two, yet apparently Cabinet
> Ministers can, and I wonder why.
>
> I've also noticed that you seem to have an inability to respond to any
> posts, from anyone, on any subject, without degenerating into an ad
> hominem attack or various varieties of personal abuse. You ought to try
> and lighten up a bit and relax. You'll live longer.
>

Drop the ad-hominen attacks, it doesn't make your argument any more
effective. The fact remains, there is a whole department to chase tax
evasion, but there is nothing of a similar size or scale for benefit
fraud. There is not even a computer database of claims, most places keep
it all on paper, so it is currently not possible to cross reference. It
is only right that the govornment wants to try and change this. This is
something worth doing, whereas there is already a system for tax evasion
detection.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Jeff Drabble

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Jun 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/7/96
to

s...@nntp.best.com (Susan Spence) wrote:

You're a witch, Spence.

Jeff Drabble


Iain Rowan

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Jun 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/7/96
to
>On 6 Jun 1996, Iain Rowan wrote:
>
>>
>> 1)There is already *action** being** taken* to combat benefit fraud.
>> Yet still the speeches come. How so?
>>
>What action?

Are you seriously saying that there is *no* action currently being taken to
combat benefit fraud? That my wife's colleagues who work in ES fraud are
holograms? That the arrests announced on the news today of (I think)
fifty-odd people for benefit fraud are a cunning practical joke played by
Jeremy Beadle? You wrote that your fiancee worked for BA fraud - she may
well be underfunded, under-resourced and overworked, but her job
demonstrates that measures are being taken.


>
>> 2)Ministers may have taken action against both tax and benefit fraud,
>> but problems evidently still exist in both areas.
>>
>> I can see no difference between the two, yet apparently Cabinet
>> Ministers can, and I wonder why.
>>
>> I've also noticed that you seem to have an inability to respond to any
>> posts, from anyone, on any subject, without degenerating into an ad
>> hominem attack or various varieties of personal abuse. You ought to try
>> and lighten up a bit and relax. You'll live longer.
>>
>Drop the ad-hominen attacks, it doesn't make your argument any more
>effective. The fact remains, there is a whole department to chase tax
>evasion, but there is nothing of a similar size or scale for benefit
>fraud. There is not even a computer database of claims, most places keep
>it all on paper, so it is currently not possible to cross reference. It
>is only right that the govornment wants to try and change this. This is
>something worth doing, whereas there is already a system for tax evasion
>detection.
>

Excuse me, I wasn't the one calling someone moronic. I didn't notice you
pointing out to Jon that the use of such adjectives in an argument did not
make it any more effective. Or do you just dislike ad hominem attacks when
they are not supporting your point of view?

The fact that an entire department exists to chase tax evasion, and that yet
despite this, to the best of my knowledge estimated tax fraud is larger than
estimated benefit fraud, would seem to suggest that tax evasion and tax fraud
is a much bigger problem than benefit fraud. After all, by your argument,
measures to tackle benefit fraud are scattered and ill-coordinated. Yet the
estimated amount of benefit fraud is apparently less. So income tax fraud is a
greater problem. Yet I have never heard a Minister condemning those who
defraud the tax system as parasites, scroungers and feckless worthless
criminals. Which they are.

The government have had 17 years to introduce effective measures to combat
benefit fraud. I would guess from your argument that you believe they have
not done so.

Yet it is representatives of this same government who, party conference after
party conference, highlight the moral deficiency of the benefit scroungers, and
declare that they are to wage war upon benefit fraud.

Are they hypocrites or merely incompetent? Benefit fraud is a problem, and
from the evidence you are giving, they do not seem to have tackled it, despite
the rhetoric to the contrary.

Anthony Potts

unread,
Jun 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/8/96
to


On Fri, 7 Jun 1996, Dr A. N. Walker wrote:

> Jon Livesey wrote:
> > Er, I hate to point out the obvious, but in this case the fraud

> > is being carried out by people who *do* have jobs. [...]

> > Please explain how this simplistic garbage about "get everyone
> > a job" is going to put a stop to that.
>

> Well, that's easy. Once everyone has a job, whether they want one
> or not, and once we have MW in place so that all the jobs are well-paid,
> there will be no need for unemployment benefit or income support, so no
> benefit, and no benefit fraud. Voila!
>
> --

As you well know, 100% employment is just not possible, leading to things
like huge inflation. I can't remember the exact pricniple, but I know
taht there are always big trade offs as you reach 100%. For example,
people will not feel the need to do their jobs as well, as there is no
labour market to replace them if they perform poorly.

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Anthony Potts

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Jun 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/8/96
to


On 7 Jun 1996, Gary Dale wrote:

>
> Not sure I follow. Are you saying that all those people in
> white-collar jobs with wages at or above the national average
> are the ones defrauding the SS? Is the anti-fraud drive

No, they are people who work for cash in hand in jobs where this is
possible. Jobs like plumbing, building and so on. Or like the bloke who
lives across the street from me who fixes cars for cash as well as
signing on.

> to subsidise their crap wages. The sort of people protrayed
> in Bleasdale's "Boys from Blackstuff", or Loache's "Riff Raff"
> and "Raining Stones".
>

But the fact is that there are millions of people who decide that it is
better to be honest and on a low wage than to cheat and steal to make
things better for themselves. They are no better than people who burgle
houses, no better at all.


>
> But you are right, it is simple. If everyone has a job with
> a decent rate of pay, then they would have no need to defraud
> the SS.
>

But if everyone was offered a decent job with a good rate of pay, then
you wouldn't get many skilled workers, as they would be paid well anyway.
Your suggestion is on a par with suggesting taht we just give everyone a
house, a car and a speedboat, with enough ready cash to enjoy the lot. A
nice idea, but one which isn't going to happen.

Back in the real world, people are still stealing money when they sign
on as well as working. Some of us just happen to think that this is
wrong, having been brought up to respect honesty.

Obvioulsy you will not be reporting anything to the police if a poor
person steals your wallet, or television, as you think that this kind of
activity is not their fault but the govornment.

Strangely I think that your attitude would change after having something
of yours lifted by someone. Don't you?

Cheers,

Anthony Potts

Gary Dale

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Jun 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/9/96
to

>On 7 Jun 1996, Gary Dale wrote:

>>
>> Not sure I follow. Are you saying that all those people in
>> white-collar jobs with wages at or above the national average
>> are the ones defrauding the SS? Is the anti-fraud drive

>No, they are people who work for cash in hand in jobs where this is
>possible. Jobs like plumbing, building and so on. Or like the bloke who
>lives across the street from me who fixes cars for cash as well as
>signing on.

Watch those net curtains twitch! "I say darling, what was
that freephone number again, you know the official
grass line for benefit cheats..." They don't come much
cheaper and lower than this.

In some places where I've lived, such zealous citizens might
find themselves up for a good slapping.


>> to subsidise their crap wages. The sort of people protrayed
>> in Bleasdale's "Boys from Blackstuff", or Loache's "Riff Raff"
>> and "Raining Stones".
>>
>But the fact is that there are millions of people who decide that it is
>better to be honest and on a low wage than to cheat and steal to make
>things better for themselves. They are no better than people who burgle
>houses, no better at all.

There is no reason why people should be reduced to the impoverishment
offered by a life on benefits. Either you have something constructive
positive to change this situation, or you indulge in moralising
about the people at the sharpest end of society (an endless
concern for bigots and hyprocrites. And look how they
spend their money, on the national lotttery!). You chose the second
option, because the mass squandering of people's potential
while they rot on benefits is just an inevitable fact of life for
you.


>> But you are right, it is simple. If everyone has a job with
>> a decent rate of pay, then they would have no need to defraud
>> the SS.
>>
>But if everyone was offered a decent job with a good rate of pay, then
>you wouldn't get many skilled workers, as they would be paid well anyway.
>Your suggestion is on a par with suggesting taht we just give everyone a
>house, a car and a speedboat, with enough ready cash to enjoy the lot. A
>nice idea, but one which isn't going to happen.

Well of course I want everyone to have a decent standard of living.
You oppose this, on the grounds of ideological dogma, it seems.

>Back in the real world, people are still stealing money when they sign
>on as well as working. Some of us just happen to think that this is
>wrong, having been brought up to respect honesty.

Oh it's "upbringing" now, is it? We must always remember that you
come from such a high moral caste.

>Obvioulsy you will not be reporting anything to the police if a poor
>person steals your wallet, or television, as you think that this kind of
>activity is not their fault but the govornment.

It's nothing to do with individual culpability. It is to do with
taking a more positive and constructive approach to social problems.
At the moment all politicians seem to be able to do is to scapegoat
those with the least power in society.

>Strangely I think that your attitude would change after having something
>of yours lifted by someone. Don't you?

It's not my "attitude" but my politics, which it seems are a bit
more positive than yours. My personal life is irrelevant.
As it happens, though, I was burgled not so long ago. What I
didn't do was indulge in facile, Percy Sugdon style moralising.
Tut tut, today's generation! ....what we need is another
war - summit to bring'em into line ...At least in those days
the working classes were respectable ...Did I tell you about
how my grandmother used to get down on her hands and knees
to scrub our front doorstep? ...Cor blimey! Those were the days;
when you could leave your front door open, or walk the
streets at night without fear of being attacked by a gang
of marauding 9 year olds ...And weren't rations great?

John Lynch

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Jun 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/9/96
to

In article <4p4c96$i...@nrtphc11.bnr.ca>, Melissa Porter
<Melissa...@nt.com> writes

>John Lynch <jly...@ldta.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>Aaaarrgh! "facilitated" and "in terms of" -- two of my most detested
>>expressions in one sentence
>>--
>>John Lynch
>>
>
>
>
>John, how do you feel about "utilize"?
>

Are you winding me up? Apart from the obvious -- that there is no "z"
in "utilise" -- it ranks with purchase. I realise that there are people
who might be heard saying "I'll utilise this ash tray for the cigar I
just purchased", but such people all live in Winnipeg and therefore
don't count. For most of us, and all humans, the words are: "use" and
"buy"
--
John Lynch

John Lynch

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Jun 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/9/96
to

In article <4p4jhl$e...@nntp1.best.com>, Susan Spence <s...@nntp.best.com>
writes

>John Lynch (jly...@ldta.demon.co.uk) wrote:
>: In article <4p41m9$q...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>, "gareth.ellis"
>: <oa4...@zen.sunderland.ac.uk> writes
>
>: in terms of shopping, Carlisle is the second most facilitated city
>
>
>: Aaaarrgh! "facilitated" and "in terms of" -- two of my most detested
>: expressions in one sentence
>

>What does "facilitated" mean in terms of the above sentence?
>
>
>heheheheh

Bum, botty, knickers, poo
--
John Lynch

Susan Spence

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Jun 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/9/96
to

John Lynch (jly...@ldta.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: Susan Spence <s...@nntp.best.com> wrote:

: >John Lynch (jly...@ldta.demon.co.uk) wrote:
: >: In article <4p41m9$q...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>, "gareth.ellis"
: >: <oa4...@zen.sunderland.ac.uk> writes
: >
: >: in terms of shopping, Carlisle is the second most facilitated city
: >
: >
: >: Aaaarrgh! "facilitated" and "in terms of" -- two of my most detested
: >: expressions in one sentence
: >
: >What does "facilitated" mean in terms of the above sentence?
: >
: >
: >heheheheh

: Bum, botty, knickers, poo


It was worded for effect, but it was a (semi-)serious question.
Why is Carlisle the "second most facilitated city" with regard to
shopping? What exactly did the original poster mean by that?


Robin Muskett

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Jun 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/9/96
to

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91c.96060...@cms1.cern.ch>,
Anthony Potts <po...@afsmail.cern.ch> writes
>
>

>On Wed, 5 Jun 1996, Cheradenine Zakalwe wrote:
>
>>
>> I think it would depend on the circumstances. I was talking to my mum
>> the other day and she told me that she wouldn't shop someone who was
>> fiddling the DSS. Nor would I, unless it was someone I had a grudge
>> against, and I expect lots of people are the same.
>>
>
>Yes, and a 4 billion pound fraud is very serious indeed. It is terrible
>that you would not report someone cheating on benefits. There are
>millions of people in this country who struggle by on the basic
>allowances, and would never dream of turning to crime. Why on earth would
>you let criminals get away with what they are doing? Why should some
>people be allowed to get money just because they have no honour or decency.
>

I think there are several issues that are raised here.

I very much doubt the figure og 4 Billion fraud/year. This would
represent 80 ukp for every person in the country or about 2kukp per
unemployed jobseeker. The fact is that the benifits budget is underspent
each year as many people do not claim what they are intitled to.

I friend who works for DSS assures me that the assumption is that every
claimant earns some money in the black economy as it is *not* possible
to survive on the basic allowances for any length of time.

No I would also not report a claimant who is fiddling.

I assume that all business men are crooks and this goes especially for
the parasitic bastards in the city. Why should these so called
honourable men get away with not paying their share of taxes?

Having recently become diabled after a lifetime of paying what is
laughingly refered to as National Insurance, I feel that if the DSS were
a private company then I would be thinking of suing them for fraud. THe
level of benefit is a joke and almost impossible to claim.

What really annoys me is the way the smug, well off middle classes
always point the fingure at the poorest members of our society. Let me
tell you they are getting pissed off with it and soon may well be
inclined to fight back a little.

As Dylan opined " when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose"
8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans
(Lennon) Robin Muskett.. mus...@enterprise.net.. Alpha1-uk support
page at....... http://homepages.enterprise.net/muskett
8888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

Robin Muskett

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Jun 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/9/96
to

In article <z3xErFAv...@ldta.demon.co.uk>, John Lynch
<jly...@ldta.demon.co.uk> writes

>In article <4p41m9$q...@orac.sunderland.ac.uk>, "gareth.ellis"
><oa4...@zen.sunderland.ac.uk> writes
>
>in terms of shopping, Carlisle is the second most facilitated city
>
>
>Aaaarrgh! "facilitated" and "in terms of" -- two of my most detested
>expressions in one sentence

Ha! I now ignore any public announcements that contains the phrase:
"delivering a quality service"

Just like 1984 you know that there will be no delivery and a complete
lack of quality!
BS5750 is a complete load of testes :)

Jon Livesey

unread,
Jun 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/10/96
to

In article <31B7E9...@maths.nott.ac.uk>,

Dr A. N. Walker <a...@maths.nott.ac.uk> wrote:
>Jon Livesey wrote:
>> Er, I hate to point out the obvious, but in this case the fraud
>> is being carried out by people who *do* have jobs. [...]
>> Please explain how this simplistic garbage about "get everyone
>> a job" is going to put a stop to that.
>
> Well, that's easy. Once everyone has a job, whether they want one
> or not, and once we have MW in place so that all the jobs are well-paid,
> there will be no need for unemployment benefit or income support, so no
> benefit, and no benefit fraud. Voila!

Oh? Is that the secret Labour plan. Conscript the Labour
Force and abolish unemployment benefit and income support?

Don't laugh. Labour did once propose a scheme like that.

jon.

John Lynch

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Jun 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/10/96
to

In article <4pfr10$c...@fido.asd.sgi.com>, Jon Livesey
<liv...@pirate.engr.sgi.com> writes

>Oh? Is that the secret Labour plan. Conscript the Labour
>Force and abolish unemployment benefit and income support?
>
>Don't laugh. Labour did once propose a scheme like that.

Laugh? That noise was me crying
--
John Lynch

John Lynch

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Jun 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/10/96
to

In article <4pffck$m...@nntp1.best.com>, Susan Spence <s...@nntp.best.com>
writes

>: Bum, botty, knickers, poo
>
>
>It was worded for effect, but it was a (semi-)serious question.
>Why is Carlisle the "second most facilitated city" with regard to
>shopping? What exactly did the original poster mean by that?

God alone knows. I once met someone from Manpower Services who started
a sentence: "I was facilitating a meeting the other day ......"
--
John Lynch

I walked at length o'er fields of grass
And strolled on mossy banks
I put my foot on a man's bare ass
And a woman's voice said "Thanks"

John Lynch

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Jun 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/10/96
to

In article <uCdgYFAn...@enterprise.net>, Robin Muskett
<mus...@enterprise.net> writes

>Ha! I now ignore any public announcements that contains the phrase:
>"delivering a quality service"

And well you might
--
John Lynch

T Bruce Tober

unread,
Jun 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/10/96