Saturday, October 07, 2006

Adventures In Blunderland

Fringe meeting on public services

After a week down the rabbit hole listening to senior mad hatters telling us how they would pursue pretty well the same policies as Labour - only somehow do it better - it's back out to the real world. Well, when we say real...

A father of two from Somerset has been pleading with the tax authorities to stop sending him money after being inundated with more than £2,000-worth of cheques:

"His problems began when he asked HM Revenues and Customs to stop paying him tax credits earlier this year after his income rose.

He stopped the cash being paid directly into his account, but the persistent tax officials continued to find ways of paying him money he was not entitled to. Cheques began arriving on his doorstep every month, followed by bills asking him to repay the money and accusations that he did not have any children.

Mr Bradfield decided the only way of getting through to the bureaucrats would be to rip up a cheque and send it to their offices along with a note explaining he did not want it. But a few days later he was sent back the ripped up cheque, informing him he had sent it "in error."

Mr Bradfield said he often received two letters on the same day from the same office of the Working Families Tax Credit - one telling him he was no longer entitled to the money, the other sending him the cash."

There seems to be no way of actually stopping the madness, and he's now thinking of emigrating to escape.

Meanwhile, the Department of Work and Pensions (yes, them again) has lost a quarter of a million (!!) files of people claiming Disability Living Allowance.

As we know, the £8bn pa DLA is notoriously open to abuse, and is supposedly the subject of a rigorous new checking regime ordered by the Beloved Leader himself. But since the loss, these individuals have been paid a cumulative £9bn, and once again there seems to be absolutely no way of gripping it.

The Tory Hatters seem to have forgotten that such tales represent the real world of Big Government. And no amount of paving with good intentions - or even unprincipled ambition for office - is going to change it.

PS Down in Bournemouth, Tyler chatted up a nice young lady on the Disability Rights Commission's stand. She reckoned 10 million people in Britain are disabled. Ten million. One person in six. It seems these days disability covers not just the obvious stuff we all know about, but anything the DRC says. I reported my sore finger, which she noted down. Still, she did give me a nice goody bag including a free USB drive for my laptop. I wonder who paid for that? Or all the other lavish stands and receptions provided by the host of quangos attending Conference? I didn't see any taxpayer stands.

No comments:

Post a Comment