Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Beyond the pale and into mirrors and hazes

And just when you think there is space enough to breath easy.

The local counil have re-assessed me (as in my benefits). Got a council tax bill for £509.

Was pacing and veering off into hysterical state and then quite abruptly thought "Ring the council".

I did and asked what it all means and how they expect me to pay this money. The woman put me on hold whilst she went through my records. She came back saying I have been re-assessed again (that is I have been re-assessed after the re-assessment). Another lot of paperwork was sent out from the offices yesterday and should be with me in the next few days which, she reckons, will clarify the situation.

I said, I know I have a disability which could mean that I am missing something so could you explain what this actually means and she said she couldn't share personal information over the phone with me. I have to wait for the next lot of paperwork to arrive.

Is clear as mud to me.


  1. Those bastards. I've taken to sending letters out in batches of three, clearly marked as such: "Copy 2 of 3, in the vain hope one copy will get through to someone who can sort this sorry mess out!"

    Still doesn't work. :-(

    Hope it gets sorted for you. D

  2. Council workers are taught how to make simple things complicated, how to make a 2-minute job last 2 hours and how to p*ss off the general public. Why do you DARE to expect anything different???

  3. Mandy they owe it to you to at least try & explain things.If you really want to put the wind up them there's several things you can do :- complain to your local counciler, complain to the Finance Director. There's also the Local Government Ombudsman (much further down the line if complaints haven't been dealt with satisfactorily !) or even Citizens Advice Bureau. In a former life I worked in Housing Benefits - though we are talking 18 years ago.

  4. Thanks Folks

    I think I am on a hit list because they always seem to re-assess me although no one, in my close proximity, who claims council benefits gets the levels of harrasment I do. Those of a sounder mind would say I am being paranoid but since I became jobless (5 years ago) I have been re-assessed every year and sometimes 3 times in the same year.

    They keep insisting I have an excessive income of £1,000 which I put in an account for my daughter for school trips. In spite of me sending them copies of the information (the actually building society book) they still say I have this money!!! Although it has since been used by Em for a research trip when she was 14 and art trip to France when she was in her last year of school.

    The council send me 2 copies of the same paperwork (everytime) and sometimes 3 or 4 copies with different amounts on each of them.

    How can I know what it all means when the council themselves don't know what it all means!!!!

    I am going to wait till the next lot of re-assessment paperwork has arrived and then write to the Finance Director, copy to the Chief Exec, asking why I am being targetted and baffled by bullshit.

    And it seems there is a completely different set of rules for people on Income Support (as in claimants don't have to pay for rent/council tax or prescriptions) but strange that when I applied for it, because Em was living with me, I was told I couldn't claim it. Hence I got family tax credits and hence the council are now saying I have to pay for a benefit that I haven't even claimed since Em went to uni.

    Is all total and utter bollocks and an excuse for government to keep abusing disabled people.

  5. P.S. For Sis

    My very first job (temping) was with the DSS prior to going to college at the tender age of 17.

    As a first job it sucked. I was taught how to dismiss people on the phone (as quickly as possible) and spent hours working through different coloured files that often had the ones I was looking for missing. Almost 30 years on and all that has changed is that now they got computers, which don't seem to have cut down on any of the paperwork.

  6. P.P.S. And whilst on the subject of local council efficiency, my dustbin wasn't emptied this week and in spite of 2 phone calls to the council, it is still there full of rubbish.

    Would be interesting to find out what the councils actually do apart from destroying rainforests!!!