AITA for considering reporting my sister for benefits fraud?

Can you tell me a bit about you and your life?

I'm single, living alone (renting) grew up in Bristol, did the usual route; school, A Levels and a degree. I hate my job and am desperately trying to find a way into a more profitable industry. My issue is with my sister is currently not working and living off the benefits system by choice with her partner. I am convinced they are committing benefits fraud.

What’s your relationship with your sister like?

We used to be close but our relationship has been strained in recent years (particularly following the loss of our Dad) - we're chalk and cheese. Now though, her choices are dividing the family. She tried going into higher education but it really wasn't for her so she dropped out and decided to work her way up in another sector. My sister met her now partner, (there are roughly 15 years between them), shortly after dropping out of uni and starting her new career path.

What is her partner like?

They got serious quickly. He is from a very different background to our family, who are straightforwardly working class. His family openly discusses how to make the most of the benefits system whilst continuously complaining about not having enough money. Yet a few of them have been abroad for expensive cosmetic surgeries and own multiple vehicles per household.

He rarely works, and seems to fall out with employers although ‘it’s never his fault’, ‘they are being unreasonable' and he also claims to have a significant disability which he never elaborates on but claims benefits for. He is apparently too unwell to work but is well enough to own multiple vehicles and expensive things. He also has a council flat for him to live in but he rents out while he lives elsewhere.

I understand that there are invisible illnesses but when you see this man working on cars, doing odd jobs (cash in hand), going out, sailing and other physically demanding activities quite happily you do become sceptical about how he can't sit at a checkout and earn a modest but consistent wage at a supermarket.

How do you feel about it?

Can’t you hear the bitterness yet? My sister is the happiest she's ever been which makes me happy in return, however our parents raised us to work hard and to contribute to society through our jobs and paying our taxes. So when they got together, we were all taken by surprise when she handed in her notice the following week - as her earnings would impact how much he could claim. They are now living in one of the caravans and expecting a baby, and I am extremely angry and disappointed.

I work incredibly hard and live paycheck to paycheck. I haven't had a holiday in several years because I'm just about treading water. I sometimes think about reporting them. I just can't get past how they expect taxpayers like me to foot their bill.

I feel shame and guilt for thinking this way, but when I think of them being able to travel around and live off the benefits they receive I become angry again. I only see my sister a few times a year for family occasions but I don't want to see her at all anymore. I have no idea what to do. She is doing everything she looked down upon just a few years ago.

Why are you reluctant to report them?

We didn't cover this in ethics class, there is no protocol. My arguments with myself go round and round. I worry I won't have a relationship with her in the future and if their relationship ends she may not feel comfortable coming to me for help or support after us both burning bridges over it. I worry I won't have a relationship with her child and I'll just be a name on their childrens' birthday cards.

I don't know what the future holds for us. At the moment there is an almost comfortable silence between us where we leave each other to crack on until something big happens and we let each other know. I'm finding it difficult to see past her choices but I'm so glad she's found happiness at the same time.

If I report them as benefits cheats, half of me feels like I would have done the right thing as there would be one less drain on taxpayer money and what they are doing is not fair. They are taking but not giving anything back.

The other half of me would be intentionally taking some of their freedom and enjoyment and there is a chance they would know or at least suspect it was me further straining the relationship.

I'm so ashamed of their behaviour and I don't talk about them to friends or family - at least not positively.

Do you have any advice for those where you were?

I don't have any advice but I'm desperate for some. Am I the a**shole for considering it?