Letter: Spying, spite and social cohesion

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Sir: The biggest culprit in the great ongoing national benefits fraud (report, 6 August) is this Tory government. According to the Central Statistical Office, long-term unemployment stands at just under one million. This excludes about 1.2m who are not even attempting to seek employment any more.

The cost to this country in terms of loss of revenue through income tax and national insurance and consequent social security costs is enormous. The loss of human skills and sense of worth is even more galling. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, since the Tories came to power in 1979 there has been a rapid increase in inequality in incomes in the UK. The setting up of a national benefits fraud hotline is symptomatic of the Government's abject failure in dealing with the issues of taxation, public spending and the future of the welfare state.