Greedy, gambling

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we should all be concerned over the increase in fraudulent benefit claims (May 18). However there is another side to this as the Audit Commission has said ‘the impact of the current economic climate is putting more pressure on individual finances and tempting people to committ fraud’.

So what is this economic climate? Basically it involves cuts in public spending including, jobs and services, and increases in prices, unemployment and rents, especially in the private sector leading to more homelessness.

If we’re to talk about fraud we must be aware of the biggest fraud of all: the austerity programme to pay billions to prop up the failing banks.

Public spending is not the real problem but the irresponsible and greedy gambling mistakes of bankers and their rich friends. They are the real criminals along with politicians who pander to them.

The economic situation is getting worse, causing real suffering for those who can least afford it and the fraudulent claims made by politicians should be challenged at every turn.

There is an alternative strategy. For example the housing crisis which is entirely the fault of social and economic policies can easily be solved. Failure to remedy this can lead to dangerous scapegoating of ethnic minorities who are not to blame. Stop housing benefit cuts and the economics of the madhouse and start building affordable homes for the millions on waiting lists and create really useful jobs.

Shirley Frost, Sheffield Defend Council Housing