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Woman, 58, Who Saved £20,000 From Her Benefits To Use In Old Age Is Ordered To Pay It All Back... Plus Another £8,000


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The chances are some of it was taxable salary in lieu of notice period, and I guess the point of statutory redundancy is that it also delays the need for benefits. I am not sure there is anything unfair or surprising here. The incentives are also right: get a new job quickly, and you will be better off than if you never lost the first one.

....but surely getting a new job debt free is better than a getting a new job with compounded debt interest accumulated in the interim period..... ;)

Edited by winkie
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Exactly.

Good for her for saving, but if you have £20k sitting in the bank you don't really need to be on benefits! With 20k you could start a nice little business and become self sufficient, but she chose to keep claiming.

We have to draw a line somewhere.

There was a perfectly legal way for her to do what she tried to (save from her benefits and make provision for old age).

If she'd bunged it in a SIPP pension plan she'd have had notional tax relief added (the government would have added another 25% to hercontributions) , and it would not have affected her entitlement to benefits.

Once she'd reached retirement age, she could have drawn 25% out as cash in one go, and then drawn down the rest in line with retirement rules.

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Thought it might be useful to compare and contrast the highest rated comments (numbers represent up votes)...

Jacqui Smith fraudulently claimed, over £100,000, to live in her sisters spare room occasionally and did not have to pay a penny back. DISGRACEFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Dougie, Doncaster. Republic of South Yorkshire., 19/12/2011 6:51

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Guess if she blew her benefits on booze & drugs, etc., they would have concluded that her benefits were justified as 'need'. Talk about penalising the fiscally responsible!

- N. Waters, Ontario, Canada, 19/12/2011 6:52

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A the joys of the welfare state and its enfoced dependacy culture! She has'nt cost us any more than thousands or even millions of others, If she had sent the cash up in ciggy smoke and down the pub toilet etc like too many do and thus become "needy" herself she would not be in this predicament!

- Peter North, Sutton Surrey, 19/12/2011 6:03

Click to rate Rating 3369

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What a terrible state of affairs. And yet you have people living it up with new TV's, designer clothes and takeaways 3 times a week who fiddle the system and get away with it! Poor, poor lady.

- Prodigious Talent (I Cook The BEST Roti!), UK Born & Bred Lifetime Taxpayer@29, 19/12/2011 7:25

Click to rate Rating 3041

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What's wrong with this country? I really hope some wealthy benefactor donates some money to this lady to support her in her later years, I just dispair at the level of injustice in this entire case.

- Katy, London, 19/12/2011 7:24

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Unbelievable!!! Under current law the money she recieved in benefits each week is what the LAW says she NEEDS to live on, so...if she sacrifices to provide for her old age that is her choice, how frugal she is is up to her. The overpayment of housing benefit and council benefit paid was not in fact an overpayment because she has actually not recieved any more money than the Law says she needs. If she had spent the money she would still be recieving full benefits...Bizarre!

- Clive, Notts, 19/12/2011 7:41

Click to rate Rating 2405

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She was getting money she was entitled to, saved very hard to relieve the burden of old age and then she gets penalised for living frugally. No justice in this world.

- Jones, Germany, 19/12/2011 14:53

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So let that be a lesson to everyone...dont put money in the bank where it is traceable, hide it in a box somewhere.

- Cathy, Alberta, Canada, 19/12/2011 8:41

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Totally wrong - so if she'd wasted the money on drink, drugs, cigarettes then she would be OK! Any money awarded should be checked on how it is spent - she should be commended for saving!

- cynical, London, 19/12/2011 8:35

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The money she had saved would have been taken and used by the state to support her in her old age anyway..I feel sorry for her.

- jonas, Chester UK, 19/12/2011 7:22

...with the lowest rated comments (numbers represent down votes):

......."and Ford was now back living on benefits". What? I think if you fiddle your benefits you should lose any entitlement to them for life.

- George, London, 19/12/2011 15:50

Click to rate Rating 972

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Why are her kids not looking after her instead of the state? Just shows you, it take all-sorts to commit benefit crime..

- Mathius Battisti , Hong Kong, 19/12/2011 14:29

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How can she save £2000 a month!?? Just because she doesn't smoke or drink is no reason why she can make a huge profit out of something that is given because of hard times............... If she can save it, then the answer to this is because she didn't NEED it................ How thin is her dog? I live on a council estate, and you can guess those on benefits by the big cars that take up the driveways!

- Stranger than fiction, London..........English and not too proud to beg!, 19/12/2011 7:40

Click to rate Rating 699

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That's my money shes got. How about stopping all her Benefit until she as spent all of my money and then think about what to do next. Giving her more of my money and making her give the money she as not spent back to the government so they can waste it again is stupid

- paul, west mids, 19/12/2011 17:22

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If she could save that much on benifits it shows they should be reduced.

- caron, fleet, 19/12/2011 16:39

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it was right to prosecute her - there was no problem with her saving but when it passed the dwp threshold she should've declared it at subsequent claims and she didnt.

- anne, liverpool, 19/12/2011 14:46

Click to rate Rating 326

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She could have worked and then she could have "saved" as much as she wanted!

- Bev, Leeds UK, 19/12/2011 15:32

Click to rate Rating 299

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she gets over 2 grand a month benefits and her house paid for and her council tax .. why do I work ??? You would need to earn about 41k before tax to get that much ..

- sue, devon, 19/12/2011 8:09

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She was living on incapacity benefit saved a load of money and then she applied for Income support and told lies to receive it. SHE DID NOT DECLARE THE £21,000 IN THE BANK. Had she not have claimed the extra she would have been able to continue on her incapacity benefit. Greed made her do it. Just because she did not spend her money on drink and drugs does not give her a halo. Also if she could put so much into being so frugal could she have also got a job?

- tell the truth, England, 19/12/2011 9:39

Click to rate Rating 180

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Benefits should be just enough to exist on i.e food and travel to interviews. You should not expect to afford cigarettes and alcohol . This woman has proved that benefits are way too high and make for a comfortable life on the dole.

- MIke, London, 19/12/2011 15:44

Interesting.

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It is an interesting situation. On one hand it seem ridiculous to give someone with a substantial amount of money benefits but on the other hand if you don't, you remove any incentive to save. I really don't know eats the correct answer for this one.

I'm thinking benefits for all even millionaires might actually be the vest solution :o

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Not really. Probably tells you more about the Daily Mail readership that comment (mostly middle to old age boomers who generally believe they paid their taxes and therefore they are entitlited to it etc) than anything else.

So you don't find it interesting that the majority of Daily Mail forum commenters side with the woman? The comments are way more sympathetic than I expected, I thought it would be more like 60:40 against her.

There's all sorts of opinions expressed in the comments and they stand on their own merits. Show me where else this is being discussed and let's see the balance of sentiment there... unfortunately any forum will "tell you more about the forum" than what people actually think. Not sure how to solve that issue for you.

edit: just read this one:

I worked for DWP calculating and recovering overpaid benefit for about 10 years and have never seen a case like this. I am very surprised this lady was prosecuted there are far worse cases that never get to court.

- I'm a civil servant get me outta here, Groundhog Lane, 20/12/2011 3:06

Edited by JustYield
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So you don't find it interesting that the majority of Daily Mail forum commenters side with the woman? The comments are way more sympathetic than I expected, I thought it would be more like 60:40 against her.

There's all sorts of opinions expressed in the comments and they stand on their own merits. Show me where else this is being discussed and let's see the balance of sentiment there... unfortunately any forum will "tell you more about the forum" than what people actually think. Not sure how to solve that issue for you.

I think you underestimate how "managed" the Mail comments sections are. I've posted comments a few times, always polite factual corrections or expansions on the topic but they have never been published. The Daily Mail serves a purpose - its not what it seems.

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I think you underestimate how "managed" the Mail comments sections are. I've posted comments a few times, always polite factual corrections or expansions on the topic but they have never been published. The Daily Mail serves a purpose - its not what it seems.

So what is it? What's the editorial agenda in this instance? How/why would they "manage" the votes up/down for each comment?

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So what is it? What's the editorial agenda in this instance? How/why would they "manage" the votes up/down for each comment?

I don't know any more than you do but any site that removes harmless comments has an agenda :

http://inversions-and-deceptions.blogspot.com/2009/07/trivialised-does-as-trivialised-is.html

Their principal organ is the Daily Mail — despised and largely impotent, but allowed to exist as a safety valve for resentment, to defuse the risk of grumbly riots. Soon the grumblies will be safely retired or dead, and they and the old bourgeois values will have been finally expunged. No one will know that there was ever a viewpoint different from the mediocratic one.
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