If you’re claiming disability benefits because you could only walk with crutches, then being filmed whilst skydiving probably isn’t a smart move.
A BENEFITS cheat who claimed she could only walk with crutches sky-dived from a plane at 12,000ft, a court was told yesterday.
Clare Jones, 37, gave a thumbs-up sign as she made the tandem jump harnessed to an experienced parachutist.
She had paid another sky-diver to film her hurtling towards the ground at 120mph.
Investigators seized records of her swipe card use to prove her attendance. She also admitted going dancing at a social club.
While claiming benefits Jones worked at two eateries in the town – a sandwich bar called Funfillers and a restaurant called Truly Scrumptious.
Sadly these cases of people claiming benefits they are not entitled too are far too common, though not as outrageous as doing a parachute jump. To my mind benefits in a civilised country should be there to be a safety net for the unemployed and a comfort for the disabled and retired (above a certain age) but the thing that needs to be remembered is that somehow it has to be paid for and that inevitably either comes down to means testing. This is particularly so for those who would claim extra benefits for being disabled in some shape or form. A universal basic benefit if we choose to go down that path will be ok for dealing with the safety net feature of the benefits system, however there will be some for whom living in a degree of comfort due to injury or age will need for this to be topped up with additional payments and that’s where things will get complex. Nor is this helped by the thousands who were transferred over to disability living allowance because it took them off the unemployment figures. We need a system that’s both simple and robust enough to weed out those who would attempt to cheat it or who shouldn’t be on it in the first place, preferably not being top heavy with bureaucracy either. I doubt any system we could come up with would deter cheats, but I’m fairly sure that something can be come up with to make it so that getting caught will have frightening consequences.
At the moment though not one of the main parties seem to have an interest in doing something about the benefits system that will actually work, I do wonder if a total collapse of the system will be the only way to reform it.
Judging by the likes of Clare Jones, it cannot come too soon.