Since the downturn in the economy, the level of welfare fraud has increased alarmingly.
In 2008, 324 cases of welfare fraud were finalised in the courts, up by more than 26% on the previous year.
In the first 11 months of this year, the figure had already exceeded the total for last year. The partial figure for this year already represents an increase of 67.8% over the figure for 2000.
This is a particularly reprehensible crime, because it is like stealing from charity. Most people on welfare undoubtedly need and deserve the help, but there are those who abuse the system by drawing assistance to which they are not entitled. Those individuals are exploiting the good nature of people.
Such abuse is likely to provoke a backlash among those who are ultimately paying. One frequently hears of demands that such payments should be stopped.
The published figures reflect merely the crimes detected, not necessarily the true level of abuse.
It needs to be stamped out with determination and the greedy prosecuted. Otherwise the needy will ultimately suffer most.
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