Centrelink payments and benefits are there for people who are in need, although some people abuse the system and cause problems for others. In a spectacular case of dole-bludging in the United Kingdom, a man has now been caught cheating the system – despite having quite an impressive savings account behind him.
According to UK tabloid The Mirror, 64-year-old Abdul Jalil has been outed as a benefits cheat and has been ordered to do community service for his crimes. However, he has claimed he can’t complete the work unless it is “light” labour.
According to the publication, Jalil moved to the United Kingdom from Bangladesh in 1969, but hasn’t worked since 1988.
In 2012, he reportedly lied about his assets and said he had just £50 (AU$88) when he was sent a letter from officials who wanted to ensure he was continuing to claim the correct amount in benefits. In actual fact, he had more than £86,000 (AU$151,833) in his bank account.
Despite not working since the 1980s, The Mirror claims Jalil was loaned £25,000 in 2008 to purchase his council house. The man, who has six children, allegedly didn’t notify the Department for Work and Pensions about his money and assets and continued to falsely claim more than £28,000 over eight years – even though he was over the legal limit.
The court heard that Jalil had a “misguided sense of loyalty” to his children, which caused him to wrongly claim the money.
In 2012, he reportedly ended up remortgaging his flat for £148,000. He kept £86,500 for himself and gave the rest of his money to his children.
While he admitted he was in the wrong, Jalil wasn’t sent to jail and was instead ordered to complete 120 hours of community service and walked away with a sentence of 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years. He claimed he couldn’t work due to his health, although it was found that he just had a slightly sore knee.
According to The Mirror, he agreed to community service, providing it was only “light work”. During the hearing, Jalil was told that he’d abused the system for a long period of time and that his lies had cost the public purse a lot of money. Similar to Australia, benefits in the United Kingdom are funded by taxpayers.
The judge explained that Jalil had admitted to his wrongdoings when probed by the Department for Work and Pensions and heard how he was “deeply ashamed” of his actions.