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Recortes de Prensa

Costa benefit ‘cheats’

Round Town News, 24 | 06 | 2010 - Noticia

ANGER IS mounting along the Costas at accusations expats are milking the UK benefits system to fund a life in the sun

Government figures show that £46 million of British taxpayers’ cash is being sent abroad to people claiming they are too sick to work on the ‘Costa del Malingerer’.

More than 10,000 people living in Spain and other European countries like, France, Portugal and Cyprus, are claiming incapacity benefits.
And it was said that many expats have continued to receive the payments for more than five years without their cases being reviewed – it was claimed a ‘loophole’ allowed them to simply provide a doctor’s note to keep the benefit supply flowing.

However, with Chancellor George Osborne announcing a raft of measures to slash the welfare bill by £11 billion over four years, it is likely that expat claims for a number of payments – including the controversial winter fuel allowance – will be put under the microscope.

OVERSEAS

The Daily Express sparked a heated debate by revealing a ‘scandal’ of the 10,000 overseas claims – a quarter made to expats in Spain.

The newspaper reported 90 percent were receiving long term incapacity benefits and more than two thirds had claimed for five years or more. It was understood about a third of the total of people are aged under 50.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said the system needed fixing and claimants would be reassessed to see if they were capable of working.

He said the department would also focus how this could be applied to expats claiming benefits.

And UKIP’s MEP Campbell Bannerman alleged: “What was the Costa del Dole has become the Costa del Malingerer. If people cannot bother to prove their illness then they should no longer prey on the taxpayer.”

REVIEW

Campaign group The Tax Payers’ alliance has called for a review of all benefit claimants – including expats – to ensure no-one was cheating the system.

Disability charity Scope maintains that 2.9 million people receiving the disability living allowance would be ‘alarmed’ at proposals that appeared to be designed simply to reduce numbers.

However, RTN readers believe the problem is benefit fraud in its entirety and expats had wrongly been highlighted over a national scandal.
They maintain they had paid into the British system and those entitled to receive benefits should be paid the money.

At the same time, it was said ‘scroungers’ should be identified and their money stopped.

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