Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Genuine benefit cheats?

There is an advert on TV about benefit thieves. There are two actors or genuine benefit thieves who describe how they have carried out their theft. One person describes how he did some work but didn't declare it. The detail doesn't really matter as I don't think they are giving anyone ideas for lying about benefits.

What matters is that these people are either actors and so they are lying, or they are genuine benefit cheats and this begs the question as to whether they are being paid as a result of their crimes. If they are genuine criminals then crime does pay. If they are genuine then people may prefer to become criminals on the grounds that short-term benefits (no pun intended) are obvious and long-term benefits may be above board. If they are actors then the general public may prefer to place their trust in the 'honest' cheats and move into a life of crime.

What would I have done if I were in charge of the advertising against benefit cheats? That's easy. I wouldn't have taken the perspective of the criminals.

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