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Ali M-W
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3558 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2007 :  08:32:34  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
From HMRC's response to the TCC's request as to how much it cost pursuing overpayment recovery:

Freedom of Information requests
You said you were not satisfied with the way we have treated some of your requests under the Freedom of Information Act. As with all public bodies we must act within the law and so, where appropriate, must consider questions from the public under the Freedom of Information provisions to ensure they are handled correctly, fairly and consistently. Parliament has set out a statutory framework for this which includes a timetable for release of information. It recognised that there is a cost to the taxpayer in officials extracting and finding this information and that the right to access information needs to be balanced against the need of public authorities to continue to carry out their other duties and therefore has set a cost limit for each request.. We are therefore allowed to decline to comply with certain requests for information where these requests would be particularly expensive. The method of calculating the cost is set out in the fees regulations. Further information can be found at You must be logged in to see this link.


Okay, so they either don't know or aren't telling.

Fortunately there are apparently other ways to find this out, and HMRC may come to regret not being more forthcoming. It is in all likelihood costing more to chase recovery and send hundreds of thousands of families into crisis and depression than it is to write off non-fraudulent overpayments and start again - putting the system right and attending to matters of national security. This is going to come out in the open some time, and is going to be a source of some embarrassment to HMRC and this government.


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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  08:20:20  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
I firmly believe that it costs more to recover the average overpayment than it would ever do to write it off and focus all efforts on getting in right from that point on. We cannot currently prove or disprove this theory, as HMRC apparently do not know what it costs to follow through the average dispute from start to conclusion. Either that, or they will not tell us. And if they are not telling us - why not?

Is it because their whole argument about 'protecting the public purse' will collapse?

If I were in business and someone owed me £700, but I had messed up horribly with my service to them, and owed them £560, and was also due to pay them £100 compensation; and if they were so displeased with my 'service' that they were going to continue disputing with me and, if necessary, follow through with legal action, if I had an opportunity to end it all and say, 'Okay, I won't owe you anything if you don't owe me anything', that is exactly what I would do.

Yet that's exactly hoiw things stand between me and HMRC right now, and they will not give way.

Somehow their ongoing bullying 'protects the public purse'.

Roll on the day that we get a new administration and HMRC becomes accountable to its 'customers'.

Lets use our votes wisely next time out.

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  13:46:08  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>>Roll on the day that we get a new administration and HMRC becomes accountable to its 'customers'.

Lets use our votes wisely next time out.>>

While not wishing to be the one to urinate on your bonfire Ali, I would mention that we still have that other abortion of a "system" - namely the Child Support Agency - despite having had a succession of Governments of various political persuasions & colours since it was rolled-out to a fanfare of strumpet.


Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  14:04:09  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Yes, I see your point, but once the true extent of this scandal is known (which is why we are here - apart from wanting to help each other to get justice individually up until the time the system is properly reformed)public opinion will force the issue,and if the present incumbent of Number Ten is ousted because of how he has treated us, it would be a foolish new arrival who sat back and did nothing - when they could write off and blame Brown. I am not talking about being passive here, and hoping Brown will lose and the new administration feel inclined to put it right, but about really hitting home with our message and ensuring that we cannot be simply dismissed in this way.

Nu Labour might just be more proactive in Opposition than they are in power, too. I am convinced that if Tax Credits had been a Tory idea, they would have pulled it to bits by now.



Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Alan the Geordie
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3032 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  14:06:51  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
I agree with you - lets hope we're right.

Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  14:12:49  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
If we were all to write to our Opposition MPs reminding them what an unholy mess the tax credit system is in, and that it's a no brainer election winner with a bit of work and research from them, well - I am sure one or other party, if not both, would prioritise a write-off in their Policy document (seem to remember the Lib Dems doing something along these lines - something else to research - where is Robert, by the way?!)

As to Nu Labour MPs - we just need to keep reminding them that HMRC is a dog's dinner of a ridiculous mess and just as indigestible for the electorate, and if they don't want beating into a pulp by the Opposition next time out, it might be as well to have a quiet word with Mr Bean - oops, sorry - Mr Brown.

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  14:21:14  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>>As to Nu Labour MPs - we just need to keep reminding them that HMRC is a dog's dinner of a ridiculous mess and just as indigestible for the electorate, and if they don't want beating into a pulp by the Opposition next time out, it might be as well to have a quiet word with Mr Bean - oops, sorry - Mr Brown.>>

This is the line that I have taken and have sent three e-mails to my MP since yesterday.

For those of you who don't know, my MP is Dave Anderson. He's Nu Labour, but an excellent MP & a good bloke too.

Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 18/01/2008 :  14:25:56  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
"For those of you who don't know, my MP is Dave Anderson. He's Nu Labour, but an excellent MP & a good bloke too."

Privately, I am sure he must despair of what Nu Labour has become. John Smith must be turning in his grave.

Years ago I used to have a small standing order to the 'Old' Labour party. I've got half a mind (no comments, Alan!) to find out from my bank how much I parted with whilst I had it, and send Mr Bean the bill for a refund.

Sad, mad and deluded was I.



Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 25/01/2008 :  07:36:36  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Although I don't have any news yet, my parents' Conservative MP is going to be raising some questions in the House on - I believe - recovery costs, as our Freedom of Information Request to HMRC 'senior officials' just generated a 'we don't know and it would cost too much to find out' response from them.

Answers will probably not be given this time, either - but without revealing hands at this stage, there are ways of finding out.

We are trying to get some honesty here.

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 26/01/2008 :  08:07:22  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Remember this, anyone:

TCC Press Release 12 June 2007

TCC "Towers of Power" Tour: The (ivory) Towers of Power tour took place this week. TCC stormed London for what promised to be an enlightening and challenging chain of meetings. After months of haggling we finally met executives from HMRC (we had to foot the bill personally as they refused to help). We raised questions put forward by many members of TCC and provided a 'service users perspective' of Tax Credits.
Then we were off to catch up with a TCC supporter of old; David Laws; Lib Democrats Shadow Work and Pensions Minister; Penny Mordaunt, Conservative candidate for Portsmouth North; Conservative Councillor Alistair Thompson; and the Conservative Shadow Treasury Committee and dropped in on Number 10 to express our displeasure!


Take a look at this, from HMRCis****e:

Friday, 25 January 2008
Where's The Minutes?


Why are there no executive committee minutes published on the HMRC website after 12 June 2007?

Have they stopped having meetings, or is it that they don't want the humble taxpayer to read what they have been discussing?

Oh, my mistake, seemingly there haven't been any meetings since then:

"The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on the 30th January 09.00AM, room 4/58.1, 100 Parliament Street, London."

Why the hell not?

They were pretty regular up until June, and there have been quite a few "issues" (resignations, datagate, possible strike action etc etc) arising since then.

Who's actually running this organisation?

Other meetings, or their minutes, seem to be on hold as well, eg:

- the last minutes posted for the Departmental Board meeting were dated August 2007

- the last minutes posted for the audit committee meeting were dated September 2006!

- the last minutes posted for the operating committee meeting were dated August 2006

What the hell's going on?

HMRC Is ****e (You must be logged in to see this link.) is brought to you by You must be logged in to see this link. "The Living Brand"



Now you don't suppose they are connected in any way, do you?


Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 26/01/2008 :  08:14:15  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
We didn't strangle HMRC's minute-taker on 12th, honest we didn't!

Could have sworn that J.S. was taking notes... perhaps it was just his shopping list or a sketch he was doing of D.W. pulling faces at us?

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 26/01/2008 :  08:55:46  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
On the subject of our London Tour and how HMRC/Nu Labour still haven't learned anything, here's a letter for our members to print, add their address, and send off (you could cut and paste in the comment above about missing minutes, if you wanted, too...):

23rd January 2007

Rt Hon Jane Kennedy MP
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
London
SW1A 2HQ

Dear Ms Kennedy

Further to recent correspondence between your office and Mrs Alison Myers-Ward and Mrs Sarah McCall of Tax Credit Casualties (TCC), I wish to express my disappointment that you are not willing to meet with representatives of the only established group in the country which solely deals with tax credit overpayment issues.

The injustices around the administration of tax credits urgently require your attention and it is not satisfactory to think that a meeting with civil servants is a fair substitute to a meeting with an elected official. The civil servants who met with TCC in June last year were unable to adequately address the issues raised; my understanding is that it is within your gift to both meet with these people and work with them to seek resolutions to the problems around tax credits.

As a member of the electorate I therefore add my voice to those of the National Coordinators of TCC and Members of Parliament who support such a meeting.

Yours sincerely



Or download from here:

You must be logged in to see this link.

Thanks!

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 26/01/2008 :  10:31:42  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>> On the subject of our London Tour and how HMRC/Nu Labour still haven't learned anything, here's a letter for our members to print, add their address, and send off (you could cut and paste in the comment above about missing minutes, if you wanted, too...):>>

I'm going to do this - AND send a copy of it to my MP too.

I suggest everyone here does the same!


Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 26/01/2008 :  11:38:46  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
You could also ask them why they seem to have stopped taking minutes of their meetings, as pointed out by Ken Frost? And there was me thinking it was just personal!!

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Sarah
Rank; Captain Gordon



247 Posts

Posted - 26/01/2008 :  14:59:49  Show Profile Send Sarah a Private Message
Not only did HMRC have a minute taking in our meeting, they had 2! All Anita and James did was take notes; I assumed these were notes of the meeting but perhaps they were actually making lists for a trip to Tesco?

Ali - it couldn't have been a sketch he was doing of D.W. pulling faces at us, because that was in our imagination. If you cast your mind back Tracy Gale told us when we complained that she didn't see anything of the sort and saw no problem with his behaviour! Obviously Alistair slipped something in the tea he gave the 4 of us before we went into the meeting. Perhaps we also hallucinated the minute taking and HMRC agreeing to actions such as putting us on the consultation list!
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2008 :  09:15:29  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Aha! All is revealed... It was just a dream!

The gurnings. The scribblings which looked suspiciously like minutes to me. The promises to go away and find out this side of life. The amazement at Lisa's Maternity Trap revelation ('gosh, we never thought of that'). That promised report to the Ostrich. The being on the Tax Credit Consultation Group and being involved in - shock, horror - ongoing consultations! The promise to look over casework examples brought. All our evidence. And what actually seemed like a bit of understanding and backing for once.

All a figleaf of our imaginations!

Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.

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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 27/01/2008 :  09:17:32  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
If, like us, you feel aggrieved that all this was promised and still Jane Kennedy won't meet with us, here's a letter ready for you to print off, adapt as you wish (or just sign), and send...

You must be logged in to see this link.



Oracle: What do all men with power want? More power.


(I always struggle with those fonts!)

Edited by - Ali M-W on 27/01/2008 09:18:49
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 28/01/2008 :  21:17:53  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>>(I always struggle with those fonts!)>>

Just as well your not a member of the Clergy then isn't it?

Geordie: "Yon lass's gorra fyece lyke a bagga spanners!"

English: "That lady's face is rather unnatractive"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2008 :  07:44:42  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
I don't feel very Christian towards HMRC, that's for sure...

But talking about HMRC's response (or lack of), I invited a Senior Officer working in the Preston Customer Support [sic] Team to the Regional Meeting being arranged in Portsmouth in Spring, and did get a very wide variety of excuses why she couldn't attend.

Even the lure of Gunwharf Quays and the local shopping centre didn't tempt her.

But I am working on it.

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is…the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2008 :  13:53:30  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>>Even the lure of Gunwharf Quays and the local shopping centre didn't tempt her.>>

Just send a Press Gang to "persuade" her.

They had no trouble in persuading reluctant sailors to visit Portsmouth!


Geordie: "Alreet, de ye fancy a Broon?"

English: "Hello, fancy coming for a drink?"
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