Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Thought on the Tax Credit Scandal

During the last two years the Government has 'mispaid' four billion pounds of your money to people who had no entitlement to it. That's two pence of the standard rate of income tax. Gordon Brown will no doubt be proud of this and claim to be a latter day Robin Hood. And as for getting the money back, why is it that I suspect the Inland Revenue will be adopting a less than rigorous approach? Surely not because a majority of the six million people affected are Labour voters! Perish the thought, and wash my mouth out with soap. Another triumph for 'Red' Dawn Primarolo. And this woman is tipped to be in Gordon Brown's cabinet. You really couldn't make it up.


Inamicus said...

Iain you're missing the point somewhat.... a lot of not very well off people are getting over-payments through no fault of their own. They don't realise they've been over-paid - only to be hit with a sudden repayment demand which they were not expecting and can't afford to meet. Often this is clawed back through other benefit payments. It leaves them in great hardship.

MPs and councillors on all sides get a great many cases like this which are extremely traumatic, and affect people who support all parties. You would do well to concentrate on the real issue here - the people who are suffering real hardships as a result of Govt / IR incompetence.

And for what it's worth, you might also like to consider praising the work done by David Laws and the Lib Dems in exposing this issue, and contrasting Laws' stance with that of his Tory shadow Mark Francois who has come very late to this and has added not very much of any value with his comments.

dizzy said...

Iain I'm truly disappointed at your cynicism. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Actually they are trying to get the money back - causing terrible problems for families who'd have been better off all along if they'd just cut taxes instead of trying to put everyone onto welfare.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Iain, but you are not quite correct. There are a lot of hardworking people out there who filled in the forms correctly and are now suffering financial hardship due to mistakes made by the inland revenue.
There are two losers , the taxpayer and a lot families who are in low income jobs. Mr Brown has such an aversion to a few undeserving people getting help that he would rather the taxpayer and many deserving cases lost out. Its pension means testing all over again!
I believe that some MP's are being kept busy trying to help families affected and doubt they will be happy Labour voter's next time

Anonymous said...

Iain, where are you getting the "fact" that the majority of people benefiting from the debacle are Labour supporters?

Anonymous said...

Absoluteley wrong on this one I'm afraid to say.
tax credits will not be paid to those who have been identified as 'overpaid'until the account is balanced.
Are you suggesting that those on tax credits all support Labour?
How therefore is it possible for Cameron to win the next election?
Not only is he to start slagging off the NHS and schools (sooner or later)but now he has to ripp off the poorest section of society!!


Anonymous said...

Another Lib Dem exclusive for the blogosphere:

Lord Razzell has resigned.

Serf said...

Left wing social justice is no more than bribing voters anyway. This is just more blatant.

Praguetory said...

Sick of stealth tax? - welcome to steath spending.

Anonymous said...

Hate to point it out Iain, but you need to switch off the Toryfilter. Aren't you a councillor? I would have thought loads of people would be coming to your surgery with tax credit problems.

You can't ask people to pay back the money, because they haven't got it any more. They spent it, and were getting it in the first place cos otherwise they had no money to live on or buy their kids school clothes.

It's not very surprising that they didn't go into the minutiae of why they were suddenly getting £12.50 more per week, but are you honestly saying that you would have pointed out a similar mistake if you were in their situation, even if you HAD spotted it?

Granted, the Tory solution would have been to just say "fuck 'em" in the first place, and tell them that it's all their own faults that they're poor. But then, THAT'S why they're all Labour voters.

Anonymous said...

If you want some free money either play the Lottery or apply for Tax Credits. Its up to you, but remember the Lottery costs £1 each time you play, Tax Credits are free to apply for...

Anonymous said...

Mispayment is a function of admin meltdown. The proximate cause is this bloody idiot Chancellor and his complex social engineering ideas. There has been too much admin heavy legislation put on a system unable to cope. Most Ministers, past and present, could not run a mom and pop corner store. Brown's dictats have proved to be expensive disasters. And Gary thats to the cost of the poor.

Anonymous said...

Does nobody get that the whole thing is a redistributive scam in NuLabour's favour? OK so some people end up suffering, but that's not Iain's fault nor the fault of those who think the whole thing is a mess. Simply extending people's personal allowances (their tax free income) would have achieved the same aim at no real cost. Councillors need to look beyond the good work they do to help the victims of this policy and see why they have become victims in the first place.

Anonymous said...

How much more evidence do we need that NuLabour are a bunch of incompetents incapable of achieving anything?

There may be some (very slight) grounds for Blair et al to blame the failures of the deportation and asylum system on the previous government. Not much in my opinion, but let's be charitable here.

This whole tax-credit system, on the other hand, is entirely of their own devising.


This government suffers from a distinct lack of ability and yet it has aspirations to intrude and interfere in the lives of the people more than any other government in history.

A yawning gap between intention and capability is being exposed on an almost daily basis. But what disgusts me is the behaviour of the opposition on being handed these regular shots at open goal.

Jumping Jehosophat! Why aren't the Tories making Blair's life hell? Why isn't Gordon Brown's political career lying, crippled in a pool of blood? Why is Fatboy Nodick still living with his bum in butter at Dorneywood?

Dave, stop worrying about the A-list's pedicures and photo shoots and get out there and give NuLabour the kicking it so thoroughly deserves. You never know; if people actually saw the opposition making an effort, they might be more inclined to support it. 5% is not enough.


Anonymous said...

Inamicus is right - when I did casework I had so many cases of people who were doing all they could to make a living and were in danger of losing their homes because they hadn't received their tax credits or had to pay back enormous amounts.

The tax credit system is incomprehensible - even the Tax Credit employees have a difficult time figuring it out. I know I do.
When I had to report a change in my income they advised me they couldn't process the information as their computers weren't up and running! I did as I advised our constituents to do and put it in writing and I have only received a reply two months later! Meanwhile, I am still receiving what I believe to be too much in tax credits.

I am still at a loss as to why the Chancellor changed the original system, in which deductions for dependent children were reflected in your pay cheque.

Anonymous said...

It's the same old Tory stuff and nonsense suggesting that poor people are all Labour voters and wealth = New Conservatism.
Play the class game by all means but you will remain in the wilderness until this attitude is exterminated from Tory thinking.

You Tories had the best part of 20 years under Thatcher and Major and you chose to go on the rampage rather than seek compassionate conservatism. You sold all of the utilities including the shortsighted view of coal.
In one hit you created an underclass with a one way ticket to benefits and shareholders that took the cash and dumped you.
You've learned nothing and therfore are destined for futher relegation.

Anonymous said...

The whole system is typical Gordon Brown - fiendishly complicated in the hope that people won't claim it because they don't understand how. Next, he makes the Inland Revenue responsible for administering it - the Inland Revenue take money, they don't pay it out! Thus it can be boasted about and not paid out - the perfect benefit!

However, people outsmarted GB and claimed the benefit - "grhhh that's not what I meant at all", he fumes.

"I know, we'll fix the computers so they don't know whether they are adding or subtracting, not difficult, get Capita to handle that, then when the money is paid out, we'll say it shouldn't have been and grab it all back - perfect! Won't be our fault no one is better off, blame the computers, we tried........"