One of my sons and his wife have a one-year old and both now work in low-paid jobs on minimum contracts. Both changed jobs earlier this year because the situation they were in (living on the premises where my son worked) became intolerable. As a result of the change of jobs and lower pay, they now receive working tax credit and child benefit. Despite this, they still struggle financially because rents are high in the area in which they live and work.
Despite working with an organisation which is supposed to smooth the path through benefits, the agencies dealing with these benefits continue to f**k them about with continually changing, often conflicting, advice and information. Their income varies because of the nature of their jobs, so their benefits also vary. This week, their benefits were reduced to very little, and they are unable to meet their rent payments without help [which we can ill afford] from the ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’.
Why the reduction? Your guess is as good as mine [but I’ll tell you the real answer later].
As they don’t have a landline, and hence easy internet access, they are disadvantaged because it seems more and more government agencies [and commercial organisations come to that] insist that things are better done on-line. Certainly not better for my son and his family. Consequently, my daughter-in-law had to use her mobile to try to contact these agencies yesterday. She spent SIX HOURS on the phone, the vast majority of which was waiting to get through!
My daughter-in-law is due a tax refund from 2014-15, but still hasn’t got it. She is also being taxed on her current income, despite the fact that it is way below the tax threshold.
In the various conversations she had, it emerged that she was still recorded as having two jobs. This was true for about three weeks some months ago, and when she reverted back to one, she did inform HMRC and passed on her P45. Obviously, someone didn’t do what they were supposed to do, or they lost the information, something that seems to be a daily occurrence with many ‘government agencies’.
The other main thing to emerge was a statement that my son and daughter-in-law had not completed and returned some forms sent out to them. These were supposedly sent out in May, but had not been received. When my daughter-in-law asked where the forms had been sent (thinking they might have been sent to their former address, which they left in February), she was told that the address couldn’t be revealed because of “data protection”!
Have you ever heard anything so f***ing ridiculous? You are not allowed to know the address to which some forms were allegedly sent for your attention? Some incompetent ‘Civil Servant’ has obviously cocked it up (again) and the only protection is for the a**e of the idiot who did it!
So know you know; my son and his family are in financial difficulty because of some useless incompetent who probably would last about a week in the real world!
I know a little bit about the ‘Civil Service’ as I worked within it as an external consultant for a couple of years. The staff I encountered can be split into three categories: around 5% of them are really intelligent, high quality people; around 25% of them are reasonably competent, i.e. average. The remaining 70% are useless and pretty idle, with ‘jobs for life’ they don’t deserve. Never mind the long-promised cull of QUANGOs, we need a severe cull of the Civil Service, to get some real service back for the people who pay for it: the taxpayers.