The UK General Politics Thread Page 122

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  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:21:24
    Dougs wrote:
    Nah, on about bank bail out, surely? Not that any of that cash was paid to any one person...
    Yeah, pointless, general vexation really. As one does. It does grate seeing stuff like this being proposed to save a few poxy quid, with just some mild accounting and banking changes put in place to prevent another meltdown. Penny wise, pound foolish (relatively).
  • glaeken 16 Sep 2013 15:38:00 11,884 posts
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    It's pretty much nonsense anyway. I think the previous max sentence was 7 years. It's also only going to be for the most stupidly blatant of fraudsters which probably counts as a very small segment of actually fraudsters. It's something that will end up effecting roughly fuck all in the scheme of things.

    Still it's grabbed some headlines so job done.

    Edited by glaeken at 15:38:27 16-09-2013
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:43:17
    And keeps the idea that benefit fraud is actually one of the most serious issues facing our financial life, and that seeps into 'benefits being bad' in general.

    Cos I said so.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:45:34
    Perfectly timed when their benefit cut downs have been getting torn apart as disgusting.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:49:58
    I don't think anyone has said that. But I will say that 10 years is fucking ludicrous for benefit fraud and is painting the problem to be worse than it is to rile up the public in support.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:52:08
    You're extrapolating a bit too much there, LB.

    Banging my own drum? What drum is that?
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:53:04
    I know that. But there is no benefit fraud that warrants a 10 year sentence.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 15:53:55
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    So wait, do you guys think serious benefit fraudsters should not go to prison?

    Seems a neat solution to me.
    Oh come on LB.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 16:06:13
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    So how should serious (not all) benefit fraudsters be tackled then? Honest question.
    As they currently are.

    How should the boards of companies which fuck up entire economies be tackled? Having their shareholders lose out seems to punish the wrong target.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 16:22:07
    I'm trying to highlight an imbalance in cause and effect.

    Benefit fraud is theft and easy (?) to evidence, I'll guess. As long as it's checked (as it currently is), it makes little difference to society at large. No-one has seen their firm go out of business because some oik fiddled benefits.

    The financial shenanigans of the past years has created huge unemployment, and misery for those whose (valid) benefits are being cut so that the government can affect deficit growth. Has anyone been threatened with 10 years for mismanaging something of critical importance, such as a bank? No.

    So, deliberating taking a few quid off the treasury = 10 years in jail, whereas deliberately taking billions is fine, because it's not illegal?

    Not sure if I'm getting my point across really. Am I banging a drum again? For what though?
  • glaeken 16 Sep 2013 16:32:48 11,884 posts
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    mowgli wrote:
    I know that. But there is no benefit fraud that warrants a 10 year sentence.
    There have been some major fraudsters who have gotten away with say 100,000 or so over a number of years have there not? Tricky to find any cites for that without going to the Daily mail but I am sure I remember such cases. Of course these were people who set out to scam for all it was worth and are really career criminals.

    Just to compare what sort of sentence would you get if say you embezzled the same amount from a company I wonder?

    Edited by glaeken at 16:47:21 16-09-2013
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 16:37:55
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Too big to fail should not be allowed to happen. Beyond that, board decisions should be in the interest of their shareholders (as they are) and board members should be answerable to the shareholders for their management decisions and growth strategy (as they are).
    The Libor business suggested differently really, didn't it? Everything's Ok, as long as you're not caught, and you won't be caught if no-one is looking, as seems to be typical in the UK. Hence, my post. In the US, they treat this behaviour as crime.
  • Moot_Point 16 Sep 2013 16:47:25 5,530 posts
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    @Bremenacht if the banks were regulated, the libor scandal wouldn't have happened. But the government backed down on regulation to police the banks recently.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 16:48:31
    I'm picking out financial services/banking as the most obvious (and so far, most impactful) example btw, but really the argument could apply to responsibility for any key part of national infrastructure.

    So if it's that drum you were referring to, well no. Ish.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 16:57:50
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    Actually they don't in the US. They base their interbank lending on Fed Funds Effective and it is calculated in much the same way.
    The US kicked off investigation into LIBOR rigging and the FSA/whoever followed. They treated it as fraud. The UK didn't, but fell into line behind the Americans. Those big fines weren't paid for doing nothing wrong.

    LeoliansBro wrote:
    And here's the kicker - LIBOR rigging was actually beneficial to the UK economy, specifically by making Barclays look stronger than it was at a key juncture and so allowing them to avoid a bail out.
    That doesn't make it Ok. What if it had gone the other way? Who'd have paid for it? Shareholders?
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 17:20:49
    LeoliansBro wrote:
    There was wrongdoing, but nobody told the banks it was wrong until it was.
    They were not being told it was wrong, and no-one really looked to find anything wrong, even though banking is a critical part of our modern national infrastructure. You'd think governance of such sensitive areas would be hot, right? Comprehensive, and constantly assessed and reviewed for weaknesses, given the massive (economy-affecting) amounts of money involved? Yet it seems it isn't. The FSA was a failure, and there's (yet) to suggest the new structures will be much better at looking for problems.

    Contrast that with the benefit system, where the potential loss of peanuts attracts such scrutiny and ever-active structural tinkering and change and headline-grabbing changes to law. For (comparatively) peanuts!

    This is the contrast I'm attempting to make. What's more important - pounds or peanuts?
  • spamdangled 16 Sep 2013 17:58:57 30,981 posts
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    glaeken wrote:
    mowgli wrote:
    I know that. But there is no benefit fraud that warrants a 10 year sentence.
    There have been some major fraudsters who have gotten away with say 100,000 or so over a number of years have there not? Tricky to find any cites for that without going to the Daily mail but I am sure I remember such cases. Of course these were people who set out to scam for all it was worth and are really career criminals.
    There are (and actually for far more than that - some fraudsters have gotten away with over a million somehow, though fuck knows how).
    The question that I think needs to be asked is whether the court and admin cost of around 65,000 plus the additional cost of around 40-50k per year of trialling and then imprisoning someone can really be justified except in the most egregious cases of fraud (which are a very, very tiny minority of the already tiny estimated 1% of fraudulent or undeserving claimants), particularly when prisons are already severely overcrowded and far more serious crimes get away with little more than community service and suspended sentences, or early release after just a fraction of the original sentences. Not to mention that billions are lost each year in tax avoidance, which would bring in far more revenue to the government if they ever bothered to seriously tackle it.

    Edited by darkmorgado at 20:47:11 16-09-2013
  • spamdangled 16 Sep 2013 20:46:42 30,981 posts
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    Tonight's Panorama has already been making waves I see.
  • Deleted user 16 September 2013 22:17:34
    Was it the tax-dodgers one, or something else?
  • spamdangled 16 Sep 2013 23:08:24 30,981 posts
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    Bremenacht wrote:
    Was it the tax-dodgers one, or something else?
    Pretty much the tax-dodgers one. The guy who was hired by the government to help shape tax policy, who was hosting talks teaching people how to avoid tax on the side (he's since "resigned" since Panorama presented their evidence to the government, after he initially denied doing anything wrong). There was a fair bit of other stuff as well around HMRC potentially misleading parliament and a few other things.

    Well worth watching.
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