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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2008 :  22:45:22  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
Just noticed that today we have had our 300th member join us. Welcome Peter and everyone else who has had the misfortune to fall foul of the nightmare that is Tax Credits. Appropriate too that we should reach this round number on the same weekend that the first regional conference of Tax Credit Casualties took place. Glad to hear it was a success and thanks to all of you who were involved. The fact that our membership is growing at such a pace goes to show how vital it is that we all get involved, in any way no matter how big or small, and help to publicise the injustice that has been inflicted upon us.

Auntie

"You can dress a pig in a suit but you can't stop it grunting"
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2008 :  23:33:02  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
It would be nice if we had 300 ACTIVE members though, ALL writing to their MPs & All campaigning - instead of the usual half dozen or so "usual suspects" - while the rest look on.

We've tried to make it easy for them by introducing the "Letter of the Week" that they can copy & send to their MPs - as well as the several letters that I have posted with the invitation to copy & post, but apparently to little or no avail.

I really am thinking of our "Members List" as a "Passenger List" these days.

Apathy rules K.O. (Damn this dyslexia)


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

English: "Hello, fancy coming for a drink?"
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familytaxcredit
Forum Admin



373 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2008 :  02:37:04  Show Profile Send familytaxcredit a Private Message
Just a thumbs up. Unlike many other forums we have 300 real members. I know only 50% have posted but most forums are not kept real (including major newspaper forums) If kept unchecked this forum would have over 30,000 members. This forum count is accurate. A 50% post rate is unheard of by normal forum standards. I know for sure all whom sign up are here for a reason, 90% are genuine members.

Many will not post because they have answers already discussed and answered. The vast majority of members here are here because it says what it is on the tin.

I can easily allow inflated forum counts, like many do. I delete upwards of spam 1000 members per month. They are easy to spot in most cases..some forums allow the sign-up then stop their posts (just to inflate the forum membership)

Some forums (including major newspapers) will allow posts to be counted, then deleted. And yet include in their stats as forum posts..I know I could spam a daily newspaper with 100 posts, they would show 'post's today' yet all would be deleted.

Yet the forum 'post' would grow. Do not believe forum membership or forum posts on any other site. This forum is at least 90% genuine members. No one can spam this forum...I guess I've let myself open now for a major hit!
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2008 :  08:57:42  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Thanks for explaining that, FTC. Genuine members can, and will, post when they want or need to. Although there are lots of things that can go wrong with tax credits, there are plenty of commonalities, too, and I am sure you are right about members not posting if the topic has already been discussed. After all, we don't see too many, 'that happened to me too' posts.

I would urge members to post, however, if they find interesting articles or have success with their case, as this does show that it can be done.

I find what you say encouraging, FTC, as well as the growth in Petition signatures. Well worth printing off and taking to our various Regional meetings?

Morpheus: Welcome to the real world.


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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2008 :  14:03:05  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>> Just a thumbs up. Unlike many other forums we have 300 real members. I know only 50% have posted....>

I agree that a 50% post rate in the forum is better than most forums, but this was never my argument.

I do not believe that 50% or even 30% have written to MPs or newspapers for if they had we would be a lot further down the road to winning this battle than we are now THAT is my argument!



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

English: "Hello, fancy coming for a drink?"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2008 :  08:37:56  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Okay, Alan is 'bad cop' - so let me be 'good cop'...

We need YOU. When we first got together to fight this, I for my part heard Nu Labour politicians defending the Tax Credit system, and very niaively thought that they genuinely didn't know how bad things were for 'customers' of it - and that it was just a matter of opening their eyes and telling them how things really were.

Well, eighteen months or so down the line, there can't be a single Nu Labour MP who hasn't been told that, far from everything being wonderful and glorious in the garden of tax credits, it's actually a stinking cess pit in many parts, with claimants drowning in the do's. Yet what has the government done about it?

I did think that the massive surge in disputes against the Tax Credit Office would do the trick, shifting the cost/benefit balance away from it being economic for HMRC to bully us into repayment into it being far more cost-effective, as well as humane and ethical, to write these non-claimant-fault overpayments off.

Certainly that has helped, but the approach is too subtle for this government. The appeal to reason, humanity and common-sense is not getting there quite as fast as you might expect with a truly Socialist, 'For the People' government. We need something stronger - like the Poll Tax movement.

Brown and his cronies will only change the status quo when there is something in it for them.

A trickle of letters can so easily be cast aside and ignored.

Mailbags full cannot quite so easily be disregarded.

A stamp and a maximum half hour of our time is all it will take.

Let's all write and express our disgust at how we are treated - and keep writing!



Morpheus: Welcome to the real world.


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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 11/03/2008 :  14:09:27  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Thank you Ali-The-Good-Cop.

I'm pleased that you seem to have grasped the point I have been trying to make which is a few letters to MPs & the media is just a few cranks having a whinge, but mailbags full of letters from lots of people is a different matter altogether.

It shows that there are serious problems and that we want something done about them.

It shows our glorious (unelected) leader that if he expects our support at election time he may be sadly disappointed - just as we are with him & his fellow toe rags that masquerades as a Government.

It's long past the time that Mr Brown was told to stick his Tax Credits and his beloved HMRC up his kilt, pack his porridge, haggis & bagpipes into his sporran & sod-off back to Scotland & stay there!

So, there you have it Lads & Lasses - from the Good Cop AND the Bad Cop BOTH preaching the same Gospel; get writing to Brown, Darling, your MPs and the media. It won't take very long and will only cost you the price of some paper, ink & a few second class stamps (no need for Recorded Delivery or even First Class post for these letters).

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

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

Edited by - Alan the Geordie on 11/03/2008 14:13:23
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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2008 :  22:16:04  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
On 9th March this year I posted that we had reached the 300 member mark. Today I see that we have reached 370, an extra 70 people in just over three months. I don't know much about such statistics, but I'm guessing that this is a pretty large number of people to be joining a forum about an issue that people not in the know tend to think is a minority issue. Given that we 370 are just the tip of a huge iceberg, I dread to think how many others there are drowning under the surface of whom we have no knowledge.

So welcome to everybody. We do appreciate that some people joining the forum want merely to dip in and learn from other people's experiences. However, please think about contacting your MP, the local press, anything other medium you can think of in order to raise the profile of the scandal that is the Tax Credit System and how it is failing many of the very people it was designed to help. Also to raise the profile of our group Tax Credit Casualties and the invaluable work being done by Paula, Sarah, Ali and the others, all on a voluntary basis.

Please sign the petition and look at the main web page, You must be logged in to see this link. for loads of news and valuable information.

Keep in touch!

Auntieh

"You can dress a pig in a suit but you can't stop it grunting"
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familytaxcredit
Forum Admin



373 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2008 :  22:39:07  Show Profile Send familytaxcredit a Private Message
Forum members are often vastly exagerated, but not on this board.
They are caught in spam traps, the ones that get thru are quickly deleted. All members here are genuine. Some do not post for whatever reason.
Newspapers are massive exageraters, they allow any members, yet they do not delete rogues they simply ban the culprit from posting, yet the rogue is included in membership count, in effect a vastly exagerated membership count. We could do the same, we would have 500,000 members by now. But no one in the know would take the figure seriously.

We do have a small community 370 at last count, but nearly 2/3rds have posted, which is by any standards very good.

We also have had no publicity, only 10% of low wage earners have access to a pc regularly. 15% do not know how to use a pc. only 15% have internet access at home. 95% do not know we exist

edit>>>oops repeated what i said last time!

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TCC Webmaster
Admin



Virgin Islands (United Kingdom)
148 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2008 :  22:58:09  Show Profile Send TCC Webmaster a Private Message
People are signing up for the TCC newsletter almost daily now. 329 subscribers at the moment.

The last newsletter, 207 people read - but the accuracy of those figures is questionable. Better to say that at least 207 were read.(Nobody should get paranoid about us having those figures, either - we can't tell who; just how many. It's more of a guide than anything.)

As far as the website goes, in the last month there have been 1,104 absolutely unique visitors, who viewed 8,738 pages.

The dispute pack was downloaded 142 times.

Voices of the Victims was downloaded 90 times in the last week.

Things are continuing to pick up - and if the Times story goes ahead this Saturday, we can expect a bit of a rush ...
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2008 :  23:07:20  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>>if the Times story goes ahead this Saturday<<

pigs really WILL fly!!

"Dave Anderson (Labour) MP for Blaydon rocks!!"
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n/a
deleted



65 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2008 :  23:55:47  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alan the Geordie

>>if the Times story goes ahead this Saturday<<

pigs really WILL fly!!

"Dave Anderson (Labour) MP for Blaydon rocks!!"



Oh ye of little faith - despite being conned into pouring my heart out to a fake doctor earlier this week (you know who you are & I trust you are feeling ashamed!!!), I still like to think that people (well, the majority of people) do follow up on promises.

If those pigs hit the sky on Sunday, you can call me gullible...

Instructions for life:
1.breathe in
2.breathe out
3.repeat ad infinitum

"Realise that if you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it" (Anthony d'Angelo)
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 24/06/2008 :  17:06:33  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
The sun's out, but I don't see a single flying pig - and YES, we were in the Times, thanks to Sarah. Doubtless some kind soul will post a link here and save folk the effort of tracking it down.

And with the effort saved, perhaps EVERYONE would like to give a eulogy and great star rating to the Tax Credit Casualties, as we have received an Award Nomination? Please, if you feel we've helped you on You must be logged in to see this link. , add a comment to our New Statesman Media award - Consumer Activism - on You must be logged in to see this link.

This would help us win and get TCC better known to help others...

Help us to help you!

Don't know when the judging is, but let's hit the ton for comments, shall we?

And don't forget to praise the site content as well as what it helps us do!

Thanks, Ali.


Trinity: The answer is out there… and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 24/06/2008 :  17:41:56  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
>> The sun's out, but I don't see a single flying pig - and YES, we were in the Times ... <<

Forgive me for speaking with my mouthful - of humble pie - won't you?

"Dave Anderson (Labour) MP for Blaydon rocks!!"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 24/06/2008 :  19:31:24  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Oh Alan, don't eat humble pie - you'll get indigestion!!!

Trinity: The answer is out there… and it's looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.
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auntieh
Rank; Really should become a politician



United Kingdom
625 Posts

Posted - 30/07/2008 :  22:18:50  Show Profile Send auntieh a Private Message
47 more people have joined in just over a month. This means memberhsip is increasing even more rapidly. Surely this this is a powerful message that needs to be taken seriously by Gord if he really wants to listen to the public.

Welcome to all new members. Hope you find this site useful.

Don't forget to sign the petition, bring us to the attention of your MP and contact your local media if you feel up to it. See the main website You must be logged in to see this link. for details on how to do all this.

Auntieh

"You can dress a pig in a suit but you can't stop it grunting"
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2009 :  10:21:11  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
It's great to see our membership expanding by the day - although sad that several years down the line, the Tax Credit Mess is yet to be sorted out, and we still need to meet here to seek advice and share horror stories.

Since many more people visit and view than venture to post, I just wanted to extend a warm TCC welcome (isn't this the friendliest forum you have ever visited? We aim to be respectful and supportive) and apologise for any members still awaiting responses to tricky questions. We are working on it!

Latest HMRC figures, released quietly and perhaps with some degree of shame and concealment, show that one in five claimants are still being overpaid and can expect a recovery letter to land on their mat sometime soon.

Actively in contact with some 2500 people, and with millions now having received an overpayment at some point in their claiming history, we are just seeing the tip of a massive iceberg compared to those with good cause to complain, who probably do not know that RECOVERY CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY DISPUTED.

Let's all spread the word and reach more people.

The roll-call of people, politicians and large welfare organisations and charities supporting our quest for a safer, fairer tax credit system is growing and growing. If we have all achieved this on current membership levels, starting in 2005 with Paula Dean's lone voice in an internet wilderness, just think what we can do once our membership expands!

Please get proactive. Let's all do more. Let's work with CAB for an Amnesty.

Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 15/12/2009 :  07:34:06  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
As we trundle to the end of 2009, the Tax Credit Casualties have seen many successes and milestones which we'll soon be summarising in our usual end-of-year progress report. Yet we are still here, and sadly still need to be.

We made the decision, after falling over backwards early in the summer for a number of media opportunities which ended up on the cutting room floor, to concentrate on what we do best because we do it entirely ourselves and don't rely on fickle others - helping our members to win their tax credit disputes!

Paula is not one to blow her own trumpet, so it is down to her colleagues to embarrass her! However, she has helped even more of our members achieve success this year. Even LITRG has taken its lead from Paula to produce a magnificent, user-friendly booklet on the dispute steps. Inspiration certainly came from all Paula's hard work, and TCC was delighted to see that, even though we did not have the funds or resources to do this, our new allies had. Without Paula there would never have been a TCC. Imagine that!!!!

Graham has been working all year on our website, which galvanises all our operations and is like a sweetie-shop for all our members and visitors. So good we take it for granted. There are so many goodies on offer! Thanks, Graham! He is busy revamping our site now, ready for a new decade. It will look even better soon.

Sarah is magnificent in whatever she turns her hand to. She has the administrative and business brain - excellent with fine detail, legal aspects, policies, processes, etc. Sarah also does a phenomenal amount of work, and is certainly (like Paula), the Brain behind TCC.

Jess is insightful, thoughful, intuitive, imaginative and able to look at things from a variety of angles. It's Jess who keeps TCC up to date with the impact of tax credit policy on the people who most need tax credits, and who most need us. She's got an eye for the health impact, the welfare aspects, and the human suffering behind this bureaucratic nightmare. Jess produces our statistics, liaises with our third party organisations in the voluntary and welfare sector, generates debate on the human angle, and is a dedicated TCC member and good all-rounder.

Thanks must also go to Karen, Claire, Janet, Jenni, Alan and so many others who have worked hard for TCC.

Also to all our members who refuse to give up and give in.

I hope 2010 brings us all prosperity and justice, not poverty and despair.

Happy Christmas!

Morpheus: I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one that has to walk through it.
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