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Daily Hoist: War On Want

by afew Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 04:36:58 AM EST

[The Daily Hoist: featuring an item or items from the day's Newsroom]


Strident noise from the neoliberal onslaught on the welfare state by stigmatisation of the recipients of social transfers:

The Conservative local council of Cornwall in England is using lie detectors to track down fraudsters (Newsroom item):

Conservative council leader quits over 'lie detector' tests on benefit claimants | Society | guardian.co.uk

Private outsourcing company Capita says on its website that VRA is "capable of identifying stress and emotion in a caller's voice pattern". The contract will cost the taxpayer about £50,000 but is intended to save many times that amount in preventing false claims, according to Cornwall council which states that research carried out in other areas of the country suggests 4% of single person benefit discounts could be false claims.

Further, according to Tory leader Jim Currie:

Conservative council leader quits over 'lie detector' tests on benefit claimants | Society | guardian.co.uk

"This will not affect people making genuine claims but we estimate that identifying and removing inappropriate claims could save the council at least £1m."

They're asking 30,000 people who are granted 25% relief on council taxes to give details of their current circumstances. 4% of 30,000 is 1,200. They're going to get back more than £1m? Or is this just a PR operation to stigmatise and criminalise benefit claimants?

Below the fold, Newsroom item 2, Exhibit B from the other side of the world.


The Japanese Finance Minister, Taro Aso (not to be confused with asshole), had these sentiments to offer to the elderly citizens of his country:


Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister | World news | guardian.co.uk

"Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government," he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. "The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die."

Now this may be camouflaged as a euthanasia question, but in a country with a suicide culture (not just for the samurai or the officer class), it's an open invitation. You are old, jump off a cliff and get out of the way.

Nothing new? Just a glimpse of how openly violent political statements are increasingly allowed to be, without a corresponding backlash.

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The Council leader who is quitting (as per Guardian headline) is courageous Fiona Ferguson, formerly responsible for corporate resources:


Conservative council leader quits over 'lie detector' tests on benefit claimants | Society | guardian.co.uk

Ferguson claimed in her resignation email - which was placed online by councillors - that Currie had threatened to sack her from her post if she revealed the details of the lie detector test being used. She also announced that she was launching a petition to require any use of the technology to be approved by a larger meeting of the council.

Good for her. But where are the pitchforks?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 04:40:52 AM EST
Conservative council leader quits over 'lie detector' tests on benefit claimants | Society | guardian.co.uk
VRA is "capable of identifying stress and emotion in a caller's voice pattern".

Well, if I were submitted to a lie-detector test when submitting a benefit claim, my voice would most certainly be brimming with stress and emotion. Especially if I weren't lying.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 05:06:00 AM EST
Of course the lie detector is a PR operation. But it is also a corporate welfare operation.

Meanwhile in Sweden, years of propaganda about deceitful false claims and corresponding clamor for stronger checks on claims has more or less evaporated. The research is in, and faulty claims are 50/50 divided between claimants and the government agency operating the system (human error largely). That actual deceits appears to fall mainly in two cathegories: organised crime and insider jobs. And they both go after the big bucks.

For organised crime it is setting up false claims of someone being sick to the point of complete dependence, setting up companies to provide assistance and then just squeeze the system for as much as possible. Enabled of course by privatisation.

Insiders use different strategies. But generally if they can identify a lack of checks on something, they can make a system out of it. Like creating a whole bunch of claimants and then re-route their benefits to themselves.

For both insiders and organised crime, the years of tying the system and honest civil servants down with unnecessary checks on the average benefit claimant must have been a god-sent gift.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 05:06:06 AM EST
Well the UK government has been consistently using a figure of £6 billion  of fraud, even though over a year ago it was discovered that the figures were found to be a combined figure of £5 billion error and 1 billion fraud.  and £4 billion of that error is error made by people in DWP offices, mostly in the governments favour

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 24th, 2013 at 04:50:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taxation: `€57bn flows through Netherlands tax route' | Presseurop (English)

"Since 2005, the world's 100 biggest multinationals have set up hundreds of tax structures in the Netherlands," reports Volkskrant. The daily has studied the annual reports of corporations like Google, IBM and ENI to evaluate the tax breaks they have obtained through the use of Dutch shell companies.

Conclusion: In 2011, these multinationals routed €57bn through the Netherlands without paying very much tax. On January 23, the Secretary of State for Finance will be questioned by the second house of the Dutch parliament about the use of "tax routes".


Where are the lie detectors again?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 05:24:57 AM EST
to blockade Rotterdam, until they amend their tax regime.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jan 23rd, 2013 at 05:33:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This Daily Hoist thing is a really good idea.  I'm glad to see all the extra activity here on ET after the changeup.
by Zwackus on Fri Jan 25th, 2013 at 10:35:34 PM EST


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