The five people charged with the biggest white-collar crime in New Zealand, worth $1.7 billion, after a lengthy investigation into South Canterbury Finance (SCF) are scheduled to appear in Timaru District Court today (Monday). The Serious Fraud Office has spent 14 months investigating the case after SCF collapsed on August 31, 2010, triggering a $1.6 billion taxpayer bailout—a bailout we payed for, while these cronies to keep doing what they were doing.

Yet any hint of benefit fraud is decried, and quick to be denounced by those in power—triggering law changes and targets on anyone on the dole (regardless of their situation). However the total amount of benefit fraud comes nowhere close to the amount swindled by the capitalists running SFC. In 2010/11, benefit fraud totaled $22.6 million—from 2005 to today, the total amount of benefit fraud comes to $71.6 million. Nowhere near the $1.7 billion, let alone other examples of white-collar crime (take the director of the LWR for example, who swindled $118 million while his workers in Christchurch were made redundant).

While those on the dole receive the bare minimum, and a swag of grief, discrimination, and social stigma, the suit-and-tie criminals of the capitalist class go relatively unnoticed. Sounds like a backwards system to us!

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