My pitch for a new reality TV show called “Scrounger Street: Life’s tough in the City of London”
By E.F Nicholson
I have a great idea for a new reality show that I feel is just what the nation needs. Part comedy, part tragedy, it will be called “Scrounger Street.” Like the smash hit, poverty porn Benefits Street, this documentary will look into detail at the worst moochers in our society and how they plan, manipulate and con the system and end up getting a free ride on the back of tax-paying citizens like you and me. Are you feeling angry already? Well, you should be, because these cadgers need to be exposed once and for all. To ensure it’s not just a knock-off of Benefits Street, I will give it a more unique angle in that we look at the pan-handlers of Canary Wharf and the City of London. Basically, we get to look at how the pros do it.
You will see these well-dressed Oxbridge government parasites who develop cunning ways to get government tax breaks, subsidies and straight-out fraud. Those losers on Benefits Street who think they are ripping off the system by faking an injury to get a shower installed for free by the local council are total amateurs. Scrounger Street will be an eye into how the pros mooch and milk the public purse and still make out that they are the victims and are somehow hard done by. It’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer chutzpah and razzle dazzle that goes into legalised theft of the public’s money. These guys worked out a long time ago that other people’s money is the easy money. You get the government to suck it in and then hand it over; it’s as easy as 1,2,3 billion. They know you just need to refashion some of the words to make the exchange/graft a little more palatable. Handouts are called “tax credits,” money for nothing is called “subsidies” and fraud is called “ anomalies and pricing adjustments in the process of structural reform”
This is no joke. When it comes to sucking on the government’s tit, these guys are the bee’s knees. It’s estimated that £93 billion is given out annually in various forms of corporate welfare. Treasurer George Osborne is about to cut £12 billion from the welfare budget, and rightfully so. Just because you have terminal brain cancer doesn’t mean you can’t stack shelves at Tesco for below the minimum wage, so why spend £12 billion on caring for the poor and underprivileged when you could cut out tax levies on airline fuel and hand over sweet deals of transport subsidies worthy annually of £15bn. It’s true Britain can’t afford any longer to be subsiding poor people’s lazy lifestyles, when the shocking cost is leaving the airline industry with £15 billion less in profits.
The Daily Mail will love having a whole host of new skivers to demonise, as the show profiles how Amazon UK pays close to zero tax on its profits. As well, the online retailer was awarded £16.5m in grants by the administrations of Scotland and Wales to help build distribution centres. Affordable housing? Who needs that when we have bigger proprieties like Amazon getting its distribution centre built for free so it can pay its zero-hour contracts and keep paying its near zero tax. Its win/win if I have ever seen it. Scrounger Street will also profile security giant G4, who are the experts in overcharging, fraud and overall planned incompetence that somehow always seems to fall in their financial favour. Those plebs claiming unemployment benefits while working as bricker layers on the side need to take a leaf out of G4’s books. Just overcharge everything and hope you don’t get caught. Ensure you grease the wheels well enough that you get uncontested contracts and, most importantly, when you do get done for fraud, unlike the brick layer might be fined or go to jail, here you just get hired for a new contract. Ching, Ching! That’s sweet cash money ringing the door bell on Scrounger Street.
Britain’s excessive and lavish spending on the poor just has to stop, as we can’t afford it any-more. In the financial year 2012-13, the government spent £58.2bn on corporate tax benefits, but took just £41.3bn in corporation tax receipts. That’s a £17 billion pound difference! So, sorry poor people and parents with more than two children, it’s time to cough up and pay your share. Scrounger Street won’t stigmatise the people in the show with outdated stereotypes of narcissistic and sociopathic corporate sponges. It will show the human side of how you rob from the poor and give to the rich. You will see as they sail out in their £200 million luxury boats, bought with the hard-earned tax money we handed over, that it really hurts them more than it hurts us. In fact, the characters in Scrounger Street, you will see, are the real victims. They bust their balls doing everything in their power to milk every last drop of free money from the government and they get no thanks at all, no “Well done, guys,” no “Merry Christmas.” None of this even looks at the billions in corporate tax evasion; those invisible moochers must feel really unloved and unacknowledged. Maybe that could be my next show, based in the Caymans, called “Skiver Island.” So look out for my new show and get a bird’s eye view of the highs and lows, the cheating and the bribes, the lobbying and the compromising that’s all in a day’s not-work on Scrounger Street.