CASE STUDY

Court found that state benefits are insufficient to live on.
Criminal

Proceedings that began in May 2005 and ended with a two day proof in May 2007 apparently found that state benefits are insufficient to live on. The respondent had been forced to give up his full time employment through ill health, and his employment income was replaced by Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and Income Support. While on benefit, he ceased to use his bank account. After some two and a half years he found employment, no longer received Income Support; and again used his bank account. He was convicted of a drug offence and confiscation proceedings followed. For his period of unemployment, the Crown argued that Government statistics showed that a single person in his income range would, on average, spend more than his income. Therefore, the Court was entitled to assume that the extra spending was funded by crime. The Court found in favour of the Crown on this point. Therefore, one part of government has persuaded a court that it is unlikely that the benefits paid by another part of government are enough to live on. The Court did not ask what, in such circumstances, an unemployed person is supposed to do to. Get on a bike, perhaps, or turn to crime. No doubt the outcome of this decision will be a large increase in state benefits. Aye; right.

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