Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The world's worst benefit scrounger

There's been a fair amount of coverage of Keith Macdonald, the "Sunderland Sh***er" who has fathered ten (or more) children with ten different women, and "outrage" that this will cost the taxpayer more than £1.5 million.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘This is a disgusting abuse of a benefits system that is supposed to look after those who have genuinely fallen on hard times. It is shocking that someone can be so indifferent to their responsibilities.’

If you believe the newspaper reports, then Macdonald doesn't sound like a particularly nice guy. But if you think about it, he also sounds like the worst "benefit scrounger" ever.

Of the £1.5 million (which is the total amount which will be paid out over 16 years), the amount which will go to Macdonald is £0.

Or, rather, because he is getting £5 per week deducted from his benefits, this turns out to be a benefits scam where he actually loses money.

So 100% of taxpayers' money, plus roughly 7% of Macdonald's benefits, goes to his children and their mothers, to help feed and clothe them, keep a roof over their head and provide the basics which every child in a civilised society needs when growing up. The cost to me as an average taxpayer is something in the order of one penny per year per child, possibly a little less. And I'm meant to find this 'disgusting'.

Macdonald's oldest child is ten years old and the youngest are babies. What actually is disgusting is that, in their desperation to undermine the welfare state so that their wealthy masters get to pay less taxes, the Taxpayer's Alliance and journalists for right-wing newspapers are quite prepared to try to ruin the lives of these young children.

Behind the bluster, spin and outrage, the ultimate aim of these right wing groups is to ensure that the government takes money away from children whose parents committed the unforgivable crime of being poor. That's far more outrageous than anything that Kevin Macdonald has ever done.


At 11:18 am , Anonymous Ed said...

Yes again, Dan, you are totally on the money in your analysis of the right's attempts to undermine the welfare state.

I only wish we wouldn't join the party - whether it was the nonsense Ed M spouted at his campaign launch, or the frankly disgraceful comments from Lord Mandelson, suggesting our manifesto should have done its own little hatchet job on the welfare state (speaking to people worried about 'welfare scroungers') - rather than defending it against the Con-Dem avalanche.

At 2:11 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you miss the point, if it was just one man refusing to take responsibility for his offspring, but he is simply an example of a subculture within society.

It may only cost a few pence for others to take on board the responsibilities that some shun, but deploying the same logic that others should somehow become responsible for picking up responsibility for those who opt out why shouldn't it be perfectly reasonable for those others to opt out of taking on that responsibility too?

At 8:15 am , Blogger Robert said...

Bit like a father pissing off to Iraq to get killed leaving his partner and two kids to live on benefits, he should have known better, ah yes logic.

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