Institute for Public Policy research says alternative to tax credits cuts could save £2.4bn but would hit 4.8 million households
DWP Bureaucracy: The Circumlocution Office.
DWP Template: The Circumlocution Office (Dickens, Little Dorrit)
People who sign off often get into trap with their first job because the tax system means they get huge deductions.
In the old days you went down to the Tax Office to get the money…you have earned.
Now you have to go through a call centre, which takes for ever, and more.
Which means that you spent half your time trying to sort the tax out.
People who work under a certain number of hours still have to sign on to get Housing Benefit.
Which means you have to spend time showing the DWP – your ‘Work Coach’ – your Jobsearch.
Not to mention if anything complicated happens you will have to deal with another set of call centres to sort out your Housing Benefit
Then there is now this (November):
And so it goes.
I am talking about people I know in these traps.
Iain Duncan Smith will be remembered as the man who condemned millions to a life of struggling through a bureaucratic labyrinth, and as the pious Christian who put people out to live in the streets, and queue up to beg for tins of food.
And there is this:
The following Guardian article, signaled by Ken, really struck home.
The Department for Work and Pensions prides itself on embracing diversity and promoting equality of opportunity. And indeed, when it comes to pulling the plug on benefits there is no sign of discrimination – everybody is treated equally harshly.
It is not only those who are too sick to work but are informed they are well enough to do so; nor just those who have failed to adhere to some tiny sliver of bureaucracy. This also applies to people who don’t even realise they have sinned but are left suddenly and brutally penniless.
Hawa (not her real name) falls into that category. She was brought up as a slave by her adopted family in west Africa. As a young child she was forced to work for long hours, thrown scraps of leftover food like a stray dog and still has fine scars down one side of her face and right leg, a legacy of the times her “owners” threw heavy objects at her. She was denied education and, at the age of 15, was sold to a trafficker who brought her to the UK.
In London, Hawa was locked in a house and repeatedly raped by men who paid her trafficker to do so. She escaped when she was five months pregnant from one of the rapes; she claimed asylum and was granted refugee status. The Home Office accepted that her life would be in danger if she was forcibly returned home.
Life in England was a struggle. Unable to read, write, or speak much English, she found that the system presented many challenges. But throughout it all burned a fierce love for her baby.
“He is my mother, my father, my sister, my brother,” she said. “Before him I had no family but now I have everything.” She later gave birth to a daughter. Hawa longs to study English, get a job and walk away from life on benefits as soon as her daughter starts school.
At the age of 22 Hawa has endured more than most people do in a lifetime. She is a loving mother and her children’s stability and security is her priority. She struggles to buy essentials such as shoes for them, but was just about managing. Then the DWP informed her that it was axeing both her housing benefit and income support because she had failed to show them a document. Bewildered, she said she had never been asked to produce any document.
Two calls to DWP helplines followed, which took two and a half hours. During a wait of more than 30 minutes to speak to someone, a recorded message said there was a charge for the call. But when the human adviser finally came on the line, he was unable to say how much the calls cost – presumably more than a person left without benefits could afford.
Read the rest of the article here.