World 12 August 2010 This is why I’ve got a problem with Dave Cameron’s priorities are revealing — and wrong. Print HTML I had lunch with an apolitical friend of mine, who voted Lib Dem at the last election, hates Labour, and wondered why I spend so much time criticising Cameron and the coalition, in print and online. He wanted me, in one or two sentences, to sum up why I've got such a problem with Dave. Writing, rather appropriately in the Sun today, on the subject of welfare reform and benefit fraud, the Prime Minister makes the case against himself in a single, revealing, dog-whistling sentence: That's why benefit fraud is the first and the deepest cut we will make. Benefit fraud?? Which costs the country £1.5bn a year (or less than 1 per cent of the £155bn Budget deficit)? Not tax evasion or avoidance by the rich, which costs around £25bn? Not the £1.6bn lost to the taxpayer in errors and maladministration of the benefits system? Not the £5bn rail subsidy, which helps fund the multimillion-pound bonuses of fat-cat rail bosses? Not the £2.5bn being wasted by the Ministry of Defence every year? Not the £4bn prisons budget, which, as the Justice Secretary admits, doesn't cut crime? Not the £4bn spent annually on a bloody, pointless and catastrophically self-defeating war in Afghanistan? Nope, cutting benefit fraud. That's Cameron's main mission. I think it speaks volumes about his priorities and his preferences. So much for the veneer of "progressive conservatism". › In this week’s New Statesman: The War Against Science Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12. Subscribe More Related articles Welcome to South Africa’s new political lanscape Where the Yazidis fled next After his latest reshuffle, who’s who on Donald Trump’s campaign team?