The Department for Work and Pensions has announced it is launching a campaign to clamp down on benefit fraud by stuffed toys after reports a supposedly disabled teddy bear has been seen openly working for the BBC on national television.
In an undercover operation, DWP investigators revealed the bear – which claims to have visual impairment problems – was raking in over 30 million a year working one day a year on a BBC programme called ‘Children in Need’ while it claimed to be disabled.
The investigation comes after a campaign by the Daily Mail which aimed to encourage its readers to help fight welfare crime by reporting possible cases of benefit fraud.
The newspaper revealed it had received a large number of calls to its ‘benefit cheats’ hotline after readers noticed the cheating bear working on television last night.
In an editorial, the Mail said:
“Social security should be a safety net for those in need, not a ticket for grasping, lazy layabout BBC bears leading a luxury lifestyle funded by you. The Mail is leading the charge to rid Britain of a generation of scrounging stuffed toys — and with your help we are starting to succeed.“
And in a statement thanking the Mail, the Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Every year, a large amount of taxpayers money is stolen by benefit fraudsters like Pudsey the Bear. This bear has been wrongly taking money from other people, and I’d like to thank the Mail and its readers for not tolerating the criminal actions of pilfering BBC playthings like this.“
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