Friday, 4 May 2012

Destructive error upon error

Another example from Rev Paul Nicolson Chair of Zachaeus 2000 Trust (

We saw him through all these crises due to his dire poverty when receiving adult unemployment benefits. He is now employed. The universal credit will not change the problems associated with rent and council tax arrears, the enforcement of overpayments or the blame free errors by claimants and officials.

Lone father, aged 40, reared three boys while receiving unemployment benefits. No job for 20 years and desperate for work, he gets a job maintaining council houses at £10 per hour.

Wycombe Council says he can keep housing and council tax benefits but then they decide they have made a mistake and debit his rent and council tax accounts with a total of £2000.

Eviction is threatened and Bailiffs are sent in. HM Revenue and Customs give him £2000 tax credits then decide they have made a mistake and seek the return of the payment. He has a nervous breakdown and is committed to hospital for three weeks. Consequently he loses his job and is back on £65.45 a week (2010). We asked for a Doctor’s letter; the surgery wants to charge £60. He slips into overdraft. The bank wants immediate repayment of £854, most of which is charges.

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