2 Dec 2014

A Secret Guide to Immigrants: How to Abuse the UK Benefit System

So you made it to the UK, welcome to your new life. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about abusing the benefit system here, but there have been hardly any useful articles on how to actually do it. To that end we have prepared this handy guide which will make it easy for you to abuse the system and enjoy a decent lifestyle, while contributing little to society. Remember to think big and be ambitious.


Politics is by far the easiest way to abuse the system and live comfortably while doing very little actual or productive work. It’s also an equalitarian field where even the most limited intellects can go on to achieve high office in the UK. Consider running as an MP or for your local council and make lots of big promises that will ensure you get elected. Don’t worry because you will not be expected to keep them.

From then on, the secret to succeeding in politics is using vague non-committal language filled with anodyne platitudes. Fight any natural urges to speak in a clear and meaningful way, this will only set you back and might ultimately cost you your career. Say things like ‘we need to develop frameworks for engaging stakeholders in a process of realising collective aspirations’. If pressed on what that means, reply ‘this is a typical elitist attack on the values of common people’.

The main thing to remember is not to try to stand out in any way, be as complacent as possible and embrace the lowest common denominator. If you feel threatened, blame immigrants who ‘come here to abuse our generous system’. Don’t think of it as betrayal of your past, but a way to get ahead. Once you’re safely in office, make sure to expense for everything and live in two houses.

Finance and banking

Finance and banking are a bit more difficult to get into than politics but the rewards can be much bigger. The main thing to remember is no matter how foolish or risky you are, the state will always be there to bail you out. But clearly don’t use your own money. Be bold and daring, take big risks and gamble like there’s no tomorrow. Because there’s always a tomorrow if you’re in banking.

Some people study to get into the sector, but it’s just as easy to fake a degree or two and spice up your CV with imaginary achievements and awards. Don’t worry about being caught; they will appreciate your ambition and risk-taking attitude. Once you make it, make sure to enjoy life to the max, buy expensive cars, art works and develop a cocaine habit. These are all perks guaranteed by the benefit system.

Lifestyle Guru

This is perhaps the most ethical choice as you would be only taking money from the middle classes who actually enjoy being fleeced. Otherwise why would they still be paying so much money for organic food and homeopathic remedies. Your core message should focus on abandoning material life and consumerism, which will make you a lot of money so you can buy expensive things. There’s sublime symmetry to the arrangement.

Arrange expensive seminars for a ‘chosen few’, and aim to attract of hundreds who can afford the £199 fee. Dress in ethnic clothes, doesn’t matter which ethnicity as long as it looks authentic. Borrow from more one than culture if you can, this will increase your appeal. Speak about ‘journeys of discovery’ and the ‘joys of living a simple spiritual life’. They will lap it up.

The only downside to being a lifestyle guru is you won’t be able to spend your money lavishly in public, but that’s a small price to pay. If you feel guilty about taking the money, always remember you’re doing them a favour by making them appreciate the spiritual aspects of life by having less money to spend.

Op-ed Columnist

This is the easiest field to get into, as it requires no skill whatsoever aside from typing, and even that you could do without by getting your children to do it for you. Columnists in the UK get paid large amounts of money just for expressing opinions on a regular basis for reasons that nobody quite understands. Ours isn’t to query why, but to take advantage of the system. The job requires no knowledge or training, and in fact any form of knowledge or expertise might hamper your ability to write pure undiluted opinions.

The key to being a columnist is not to limit yourself to any subject. Write about the war on the Middle East one, feminism the other, and the politics of cutlery on the third. Keep your subject matter varied, and always write with authority and a little bit of self-righteous anger. Self-righteousness is pretty useful and will guarantee you a very comfortable lifestyle.

If you’re ever criticised throw a hysterical fit and accuse your critics of being racist/sexist/ageist but not all three together. Once the money starts rolling in, buy a house in Islington, another in Tuscany and a beachfront flat somewhere nice in the Caribbean. You need to travel to gain those valuable insights into the human condition.

We hope this guide was helpful and remember you can always do more than one of those things at the same time, it’s twice the money and the perks! Good luck abusing the system.

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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