Sunday, April 29, 2007

Only Nine Million

Having looked through all the Sunday papers this morning I have decided to retreat into a darkened room and not re-appear again until my beard touches the floor.

Seriously though, the news is depressing at he best of times but with earthquakes in Folkestone, a family threatened with eviction after they put up razor wire to stop vandals breaking into their property and a suggestion that Gordon Brown plans to tax our gardens when he is made PM - probably next week - Australia is looking increasingly attractive as a potential retirement destination. We can forget Spain for the moment, as there's more gloom and doom over the predicted Spanish property price collapse and some 15,000 UK citizens threatened with having their homes bulldozed because they don't have the right kind of planning permission, granted by "dodgy" Spanish local councils.

We can all take heart with the news that supermodel, Kate Moss, is reportedly worth £45 million as one of Britain's wealthiest and that Cherie Blair, who once preferred her maiden name of "Ms Cherie Booth", now has a new website, which re-positions her neatly as a "Mrs Blair" again, just in time to take advantage of the lucrative American lecture circuit when Tony steps down. That reminds me, it was in the States that I once met Harold Wilson, pipe and all, when he gave a lecture at my university there.

There's a great deal of open political water between Harold and Tony but history has shown that the United States can be very kind to retired British Prime Ministers.

I will leave you with one story, which isn't really a revelation, as government have known about it for ages and it represents a significant objection to the introduction of ID cards.

"Millions of national insurance numbers have been "lost", the Government has admitted, raising fears that they are being misused by fraudsters and illegal immigrants.

"Adesola Adelana, Stephen Ayankoya and Adetutu Olowe stole 37 numbers in total and used them to help open 11 bank accounts, obtain eight forged driving licences and access nine credit cards. They were sentenced to between 30 months and four years"

The nine million numbers were issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and are registered on its database, but officials do not know if they are held legitimately."

Herein lies the problem. The government either through gross error or through the corrupt action of a small number of civil servants, has issued not 10,000 - as in passports or even driving licenses - but "9 million" false NI numbers. It's such an enormous figure that it's hard to countenance and it presents an awful dilemma in that that revealing in any part, who the nine million fraudsters are, would bring the system to collapse in attempting to prosecute and deal with the related fraud and entitlement issues.

The result, is that you and I, through our taxes are subsidising up to nine million "ghosts" to the tune of at least £20 billion each year, (£330 for every person in the country according to reorted figures).

Anybody else fancy a new life in Australia then?


Anonymous said...

anon again!

does it still only cost £10 to emigrate there!

The incomptence shown by our trusted governing bodies is shambolic. I bet they all get off scot free with a super pension, without so much as an apology.
Whereby, in my opinion, they should be incarcerated in the 'Tower' for good.

Anonymous said...

The theft of the NI numbers will most likely be used as further justification for bringing in ID cards.

"This sort of thing would never happen if we all had ID cards blah, blah."

At the risk of not valuing diversity sufficiently those names do sound suspiciously West African.

The question I would like answered is who will pay the increased NI contributions in the long term. We have an increasing number of pensioners with fewer people able to generate the taxes to pay for it. The public sector has ballooned under Labour but these people are by definition non productive. We may have attracted hundreds of thousands of immigrants but I would argue their net contribution will not be sufficient to offset the amount of money required. Are we supposed to bleed the city white to pay for our pensions? If so I can see the money moving elsewhere. Moving out of Europe is a smart move but I don't think many of us will qualify for Australia etc.

Anonymous said...

I think even the Aussies would admit for once that the 'wingeing pomms' actually have something to winge about. However, would the Aussies welcome us now ? After all, we are all responsible for allowing Blair to wreck this country. Stay and fight, that's my philosophy. If the best leave then we may as well hand our country over to the asylum seekers. This is our land, our heritage, and I for one, believe it is worth fighting for. It could be worse, we could be at the start of a Labour term rather than watching it being humiliated at the polls. I can't wait for May 3rd ! The future's blue !

Anonymous said...

anon again!

Could I be an asylum seeker in Oz?
Getting out of this corruption riddled land might be a good idea.... and what a way to go...
Bondei Beach here we come............