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Physician, Heal Thyself!

Graham21st October 2010

Here at Tax Credit Casualties, we’ve been saying for a long, long time that somebody, somewhere, must take responsibility for the vast number of mistakes that are made at the Tax Credit Office.

To the Treasury Suits, these mistakes are simply figures in an undesirable spreadsheet column, not the life-changing events experienced by the victims. Well, a spreadsheet just can’t record what happens to real people – families and children – when they discover the debt that the out-of-control Tax Credit machine has dumped on them.

We have also always objected to the HMRC bean-counters using the phrase ‘fraud and error’ and lumping together figures under that group heading. Very cleverly and conveniently, ‘fraud’ and ‘error’ have come to mean the same thing; the implication being that any claimant who has made an error must also be a fraudster by default. It also implies that all errors are made by the claimant (in the course of their fraudulent claim, of course).

It’s good news, then, that we’ve indirectly received some support from both the LITRG and The Guardian newspaper this week!

Firstly, the LITRG, taking off gloves and rolling up sleeves, published their article Error and Fraud – Physician Heal Thyself . It’s refreshing to see LITRG taking a firmer stance in their articles; one of our team can be quoted as saying, “… it is one of the strongest worded LITRG articles I have read, usually they seem to tone down criticism but this is strong stuff”, while another commented, “Good stuff and about time LITRG started throwing their weight around a bit!”.  Well done for a great article, John Andrews, and let’s see more of it!

The second supporting article was written by journalist Zoe Williams and published in Wednesday’s Guardian newspaper. Have a good read of  This Talk Of ‘Benefit Cheats’ Is Not Only Stigmatising, It Is Slanderous, Too. We agree, and it’s wonderful to find a journalist who actually sees it as it is, so thank you, Zoe!

Do you think the Government, Treasury Suits and HMRC bean-counters will finally correct their ‘errors’, or stop committing mass ‘fraud’ upon it’s unsuspecting citizens? Answers on the back of a 2nd class postage stamp, please …

Keep fighting!

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