I've stuck this under the 'HMRC Fraud' category, because in my books deceiving the public about the cause of overpayments and cultivating the myth that overpayments are commonly down to the claimant and not the system is the biggest con going at the moment. Blaming victims is dishonest and deceitful!
We all need to be aware that the tables are starting to turn. Tax Credit Casualties - people overpaid through no fault of their own but because they were duped by the system and the information they gave was not properly acted on - aren't powerless any more. We have been treated so badly and hurt so deeply that there can be NO EXCUSE. Patterns aren't so much emerging as smacking us in the face. HMRC is getting it wrong again and again and again. Just as a thief cannot deny his crime with his hands in the till, HMRC can't say the overpayments we are receiving are in any way our fault, because everything we do and everything they do leaves a trace. EVERYTHING is in our SARN data - or certainly should be. And if we have a call recorded in which an HMRC official swears our award is correct, or if we have a letter saying we owe nothing, then HMRC have no right to go back on their word, and send repayment demands or clipboarded officials to our doors. THEY HAVE NO RIGHT!
Everyone, please know that we have enough evidence and horror stories even at this stage to provide ALL THE AMMUNITION A NEWSPAPER, POLITICIANS OR LAWYERS COULD EVER WISH FOR to prove this system highly abusive, dangerous and inept. The whole story is here, ready to break in full. When it does, others will join in. Insiders are coming forward, too, in dribs and drabs saying implicitly or explicitly that they hate the work they do and that they don't want to harm the innocent public. Debt recovery officials who were quite happy chasing rich swindlers for unpaid tax balk at the idea of making grown men cry, disturbing families in their own homes, and intruding into the lives of ordinary people like their own sons and daughters. We are sitting on a goldmine of information here.
So here's the bottom line. EVERY TIME HMRC abuses their power against a single one of us, WE HAVE TO EXPOSE IT! If it has happened to you, you can bet your entire overpayment that it has happened to someone else. Abusers of power are exactly like playground bullies. They are destined to come off worse, because they are acting against the usual human drive to treat others properly, and they have something they are frightened of losing, whether it is a false reputation for being in the right, or the power they are wielding. The moment their victims fight back, and bring reinforcements, they will realise their advantage is gone.
The only power we have is that of collective action and shocking publicity. Publicity can depose governments and get almost any outrage corrected.
Every single one of us, no matter what HMRC grinds us down into believing, is a valuable person with as much right as anyone else to be treated reasonably and fairly. Would we accept what we accept from HMRC from the medical profession, for example? I think not! We would all be screaming from the rooftops and insisting they met their Duty of Care towards us. The onus would then be on the service to meet our needs, not on us to show why we shouldn't be punished for their failings. It's time for HMRC to belong to the real world and not have special status or impunity from the consequences of their misdeeds. Why shouldn't they be accountable to those they serve?
If you have not been treated fairly by HMRC, going to the media is one means in your power to actively do something about it. Being in debt to HMRC is so common now that it isn't even a stigma any more!
HMRC is getting away virtually with murder. I stand by my statement that the tax credit system is killing people off. We have heard that people have died, have attempted suicide, have become seriously ill, and have had to give up work. People have lost their homes, and had charges put on their properties. People have been lied to, and told they could not appeal, so that they have taken out loans they cannot afford to repay 'debts' they never incurred. People have been taken to court and told they cannot defend themselves - although a murderer has this right. People who have been forced through the courts and denied a fair trial are now looking over their shoulders to see if the bailiffs are coming - is this fair? People have been told one minute they owe nothing, and the next a suited man with clipboard appears on their doorstep to tell them they owe thousands of pounds. What the hell is going on?
We expect to make sacrifices for the people we care about, but we don't expect our sufferings to be ignored just so that those in power can keep their power. Lies and cover-ups won't do. Let the truth be told.
Let's make sure the truth is told. If you have been mistreated, tell your story! Tell the media. Tell Brown. Tell your MP.
JUSTICE IS AN AMNESTY.
Trinity: The answer is out there… and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.