November 25, 1986 Article
An unemployed Liverpool man has blown the lid off a massive social security benefit fraud which has been costing the nation millions. And startling evidence which he is about to give could lead to the prosecution of millions of benefit scroungers.
For the man, who prefers to remain anonymous, has exclusively revealed that a shocking eighty per cent of Britain’s 4 million unemployed actually have jobs, and are claiming benefit illegally. And that suggests that a staggering 3 million scroungers are on the fiddle, leaving the Government with a weekly bill of £150 million in false benefit claims.
“It goes on all the time”, said our informant who we will refer to as Mr. X. “Everyone on our estate does it. The postman, the milkman — they all sign on and pick up dole money”. According to his figures there are fewer than 800,000 genuine unemployed people in Britain. Proof that the so-called ‘unemployment problem’ doesn’t really exist.
Indeed, taking into account ‘fiddle’ earnings, the standard of living in Britain’s ‘unemployment blackspots’ has never been higher. “I know several blokes who are driven down to the dole in Rolls Royces”, Mr. X. told us. “And a lot of the lads in the local pub own private helicopters. Another friend of mine who’s been signing on for 12 years now owns a string of restaurants and a major hotel group”, he added.
We agreed to be blindfolded as Mr. X. took us to a block of flats somewhere in the Liverpool area where we were told the average income among residents, all of whom are unemployed, is £2,700 a week.
There was no sign of prosperity inside the building, but as our informant later told us, most of the money is spent on heroin or petrol bombs which are later thrown at the police.
Mr. X. supplied us with a list of well known professional footballers who he claims are currently receiving unemployment benefit. We were told that one player whose weekly earnings top the £3,000 mark, also receives £30.45 unemployment benefit. And we were told of a foreign head of state who flies into Britain once a fortnight to sign on. According to our sources he then receives extra benefit payments to include the cost of his return air fare.
But perhaps the most astonishing example of benefit fraud is that of staff inside the Department of Employment who regularly walk to the other side of the counter and sign themselves on. “By signing two or three times a day they can make a massive £450 a week bonus in benefit payments”, claimed Mr. X.
When we contacted our local Department of Employment office for a comment on these allegations a spokesman in Box 2 told us we were in the wrong queue. “You’ll have to press the bell at the enquiry window”, he said. Later, our informant Mr. X, who had agreed to give his evidence to the police, disappeared shortly after we had given him £2,000.