Bailiffs are raking it in from Swindon debtors

Swindon Advertiser: Chris Richards, of Council Tax Advisors Ltd, wants a middle step of mediation to be introduced when it comes to unpaid council tax bills Chris Richards, of Council Tax Advisors Ltd, wants a middle step of mediation to be introduced when it comes to unpaid council tax bills

TWO bailiff companies used by Swindon Council have made tens of millions of pounds as profits soar in Britain’s debt-collection industry.

Ross and Roberts made £6.5m nationally last year, a rise of 47 per cent on 2011. Marston Group made £25.8m, compared with £26m two years ago.

Across the industry companies made more than £106m, a combined rise of 14.7 per cent.

Swindon Council’s reliance on bailiffs has been revealed in figures showing the firms are raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.

Debt collectors recovered £170,000 in car parking fees between 2011 and 2012, of which they retained £100,000.

But the companies have also recouped more than £1m in council tax every year since 2009, and retained an undisclosed share of the proceeds.

Swindon Council said it does not hold information showing how much money the companies kept from this amount in fees.

But if the percentage claimed from council tax is similar to that from parking, the share taken by the firms would amount to several million pounds in the past four years.

Bailiffs also recovered £244,000 in business rates between 2011 and 2012, with the local authority again saying it could not reveal the share retained by the firms.

The council has been criticised by Swindon’s Citizens Advice Bureau in the past over its use of bailiffs after families told the service they felt threatened.

Dozens of complaints have been made against the companies, with 29 lodged last year over council tax and business rates alone. Five have been made since April.

The firms currently instructed include Chandlers, Equita, Marstons, Ross and Roberts and Phoenix.

They chased 5,200 council tax debts, 271 business rates debts and followed up 1,988 warrants for the car parking department between 2011 and 2012.

Council Tax Advisors managing director Chris Richards wants a middle step of mediation to be introduced before bills are passed on to debt collection agencies.

“Once someone falls into arrears with council tax a number of letters are generated,” he said.

“Often the first people know of it is when a bailiff turns up on their doorstep.

“The resident then rings the council to tell them what’s happening and 99 per cent of the time they are told there is nothing that can be done.

“That is rubbish as there are other angles such as attachment to earnings and attachment to benefits. It is socially irresponsible to send out bailiffs as a blanket measure.”

Mr Richards believes phone calls should be made to people who fail to pay or respond to final demand letters.

Council leader Rod Bluh has previously defended the use of bailiff companies by the council.

He said: “I cannot comment on how bailiffs carry out their duty as you have good bailiffs and bad bailiffs.

“As a general principle, clearly the council has a duty to collect the debts and in some cases unfortunately it results in the use of bailiffs.

“As the figures show, this has had a beneficial outcome as they have managed to recover substantial debts, in particular with connection to council tax.

“Every pound that someone should pay in council tax represents a pound that has been paid by someone else.”

Comments (27)

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8:03pm Fri 25 Jan 13

itsamess3 says...

Yes--they are taking millions from our council--which shows why our debts increase to the tune of millions.
The council has every means and powers to collect council tax etc through the courts.
The figures show they are getting less than 50% of recovered monies which could save many of our vital services.
Yes--they are taking millions from our council--which shows why our debts increase to the tune of millions. The council has every means and powers to collect council tax etc through the courts. The figures show they are getting less than 50% of recovered monies which could save many of our vital services. itsamess3

8:31pm Fri 25 Jan 13

beach1e says...

people dont mind running up bills as there doesnt seem a consequence to that. not paying your bills is theft, and unfortunately, those that do pay their bills. pay tax etc get clobbered for it. people who choose not to pay their council tax etc are no doubt those that shout loudest when their rubbish isnt collected, or their parent may have some services removed. we really are a low, nasty society.
people dont mind running up bills as there doesnt seem a consequence to that. not paying your bills is theft, and unfortunately, those that do pay their bills. pay tax etc get clobbered for it. people who choose not to pay their council tax etc are no doubt those that shout loudest when their rubbish isnt collected, or their parent may have some services removed. we really are a low, nasty society. beach1e

9:26pm Fri 25 Jan 13

itsamess3 says...

beach1e wrote:
people dont mind running up bills as there doesnt seem a consequence to that. not paying your bills is theft, and unfortunately, those that do pay their bills. pay tax etc get clobbered for it. people who choose not to pay their council tax etc are no doubt those that shout loudest when their rubbish isnt collected, or their parent may have some services removed. we really are a low, nasty society.
Yes and you have just proved that--but do consider that going back some time when the council ran all the services we had reasonable c/t/business rates and services that doubled or tripled in cost when they farmed them out and paid consultants millions for advice.
Why on earth do we need councillors or highly paid staff to duplicate jobs when vital services go.
[quote][p][bold]beach1e[/bold] wrote: people dont mind running up bills as there doesnt seem a consequence to that. not paying your bills is theft, and unfortunately, those that do pay their bills. pay tax etc get clobbered for it. people who choose not to pay their council tax etc are no doubt those that shout loudest when their rubbish isnt collected, or their parent may have some services removed. we really are a low, nasty society.[/p][/quote]Yes and you have just proved that--but do consider that going back some time when the council ran all the services we had reasonable c/t/business rates and services that doubled or tripled in cost when they farmed them out and paid consultants millions for advice. Why on earth do we need councillors or highly paid staff to duplicate jobs when vital services go. itsamess3

6:22am Sat 26 Jan 13

TinkeyWinkey says...

So agree with beach1e


Wait until the new change in the Housing Benefit kicks in in April and how many more bills people run up and how much more money they will be owing. But they don't worry as if they're evicted they will run straight back to the Council to re-house them.
So agree with beach1e Wait until the new change in the Housing Benefit kicks in in April and how many more bills people run up and how much more money they will be owing. But they don't worry as if they're evicted they will run straight back to the Council to re-house them. TinkeyWinkey

8:29am Sat 26 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

As with everythnig there are always 2 sides. why have they not paid their bills. every company would rather deal with debt rather than employ baliffs but if people choose to bury thier heads then what option do they have. Far too many have no idea about what is a priority debt and what is a luxury. they still smoke and drink and then say they have no money for council tax. I have very little sympathy for people with self inflicted problems. Yes bailiffs can act like scum, but if most were more responsible we wouldnt need them and they would all go away.
As with everythnig there are always 2 sides. why have they not paid their bills. every company would rather deal with debt rather than employ baliffs but if people choose to bury thier heads then what option do they have. Far too many have no idea about what is a priority debt and what is a luxury. they still smoke and drink and then say they have no money for council tax. I have very little sympathy for people with self inflicted problems. Yes bailiffs can act like scum, but if most were more responsible we wouldnt need them and they would all go away. house on the hill

8:56am Sat 26 Jan 13

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

@house on the hill

Agreed on people not knowing whats a priority bill and whats classed as a luxury.

Even families with multiple earners can't tell the difference and wonder why they are struggling to pay the bills whilst watching Sky Movies/Sports on their 52inch TV drinking wine.
@house on the hill Agreed on people not knowing whats a priority bill and whats classed as a luxury. Even families with multiple earners can't tell the difference and wonder why they are struggling to pay the bills whilst watching Sky Movies/Sports on their 52inch TV drinking wine. LordAshOfTheBrake

10:41am Sat 26 Jan 13

RichardR1 says...

I t has been well documented on similar threads as to how many many people claim that they have paid but who ever administers the councils system simply do not update their systems in good time. I was once told it takes 10 days to process a payment.

It is also true to say that the Council abuse the court system, like many others do. If you attend court and want to plead not guilty you are sent back to the council with a number, you don't get your day in court according to a business man I know. I also happen to know Councillors have also been caught by their own inefficient system.

Hopefully the new law shortly to be enacted will clarify exactly what powers bailiffs have, and will impose caps on fees etc.
I t has been well documented on similar threads as to how many many people claim that they have paid but who ever administers the councils system simply do not update their systems in good time. I was once told it takes 10 days to process a payment. It is also true to say that the Council abuse the court system, like many others do. If you attend court and want to plead not guilty you are sent back to the council with a number, you don't get your day in court according to a business man I know. I also happen to know Councillors have also been caught by their own inefficient system. Hopefully the new law shortly to be enacted will clarify exactly what powers bailiffs have, and will impose caps on fees etc. RichardR1

1:10pm Sat 26 Jan 13

The Real Librarian says...

QUOTE
“Once someone falls into arrears with council tax a number of letters are generated,” he said.“Often the first people know of it is when a bailiff turns up on their doorstep.
UNQUOTE

Hmmm, the old excuse about sending letters.
We got no letters at all before the bailiff turned up on our doorstep. It was a shock, not least because we were fully paid up on our council tax. Thats right, the council **** UP and sent a bailiff round to someone who had paid.

I tried to explain this to the bailiff who didn't care. He just wanted to steal my posessions. I had to be quite forcefull to make him go away.

Of course we didn't get an apology. Thats fine. If they ever do it again i will sue.
QUOTE “Once someone falls into arrears with council tax a number of letters are generated,” he said.“Often the first people know of it is when a bailiff turns up on their doorstep. UNQUOTE Hmmm, the old excuse about sending letters. We got no letters at all before the bailiff turned up on our doorstep. It was a shock, not least because we were fully paid up on our council tax. Thats right, the council **** UP and sent a bailiff round to someone who had paid. I tried to explain this to the bailiff who didn't care. He just wanted to steal my posessions. I had to be quite forcefull to make him go away. Of course we didn't get an apology. Thats fine. If they ever do it again i will sue. The Real Librarian

2:27pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Naughty Nick says...

The Real Librarian wrote:
QUOTE “Once someone falls into arrears with council tax a number of letters are generated,” he said.“Often the first people know of it is when a bailiff turns up on their doorstep. UNQUOTE Hmmm, the old excuse about sending letters. We got no letters at all before the bailiff turned up on our doorstep. It was a shock, not least because we were fully paid up on our council tax. Thats right, the council **** UP and sent a bailiff round to someone who had paid. I tried to explain this to the bailiff who didn't care. He just wanted to steal my posessions. I had to be quite forcefull to make him go away. Of course we didn't get an apology. Thats fine. If they ever do it again i will sue.
Similer thing happened to me. I received no letters, "apparently they were sent to a different address", and I was paying my debt, I only owed £75 but the bailiffs (Chandlers) say I owed not short of £400 then charged more for their visit. When my wife rang the number left by Chandlers "officer" they were very abusive and said they can take what they want. I was making regular payments to SBC so there was no need to call in bailiffs. I think the blame is with SBC for employing these thugs but will I be compensated after paying them off to stop them stealing my property? I don't think so!
[quote][p][bold]The Real Librarian[/bold] wrote: QUOTE “Once someone falls into arrears with council tax a number of letters are generated,” he said.“Often the first people know of it is when a bailiff turns up on their doorstep. UNQUOTE Hmmm, the old excuse about sending letters. We got no letters at all before the bailiff turned up on our doorstep. It was a shock, not least because we were fully paid up on our council tax. Thats right, the council **** UP and sent a bailiff round to someone who had paid. I tried to explain this to the bailiff who didn't care. He just wanted to steal my posessions. I had to be quite forcefull to make him go away. Of course we didn't get an apology. Thats fine. If they ever do it again i will sue.[/p][/quote]Similer thing happened to me. I received no letters, "apparently they were sent to a different address", and I was paying my debt, I only owed £75 but the bailiffs (Chandlers) say I owed not short of £400 then charged more for their visit. When my wife rang the number left by Chandlers "officer" they were very abusive and said they can take what they want. I was making regular payments to SBC so there was no need to call in bailiffs. I think the blame is with SBC for employing these thugs but will I be compensated after paying them off to stop them stealing my property? I don't think so! Naughty Nick

2:47pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Peter Mallinson says...

If people are genuinely in debt and cannot meet their obligations they can file for a DRO (Debt Relief Order).

They must meet certain criteria and if they do then they cannot be chased or contacted over the debt. The debt is cancelled after 1 year.

This applies to any debt, council or otherwise.

For more information contact any advice centre or look on line for tel. no.

Just Google "DRO" for info.
If people are genuinely in debt and cannot meet their obligations they can file for a DRO (Debt Relief Order). They must meet certain criteria and if they do then they cannot be chased or contacted over the debt. The debt is cancelled after 1 year. This applies to any debt, council or otherwise. For more information contact any advice centre or look on line for tel. no. Just Google "DRO" for info. Peter Mallinson

2:59pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Russell Holland says...

If anyone is struggling to pay Council tax the most important thing to do is to talk to the Council as soon as possible. For Council tenants struggling to pay rent the same applies.

Anyone with debt problems should seek advice as soon as possible.

People naturally like to be independent and asking for help can feel uncomfortable, but the sooner the problem is identified the sooner a solution can be put in place.
If anyone is struggling to pay Council tax the most important thing to do is to talk to the Council as soon as possible. For Council tenants struggling to pay rent the same applies. Anyone with debt problems should seek advice as soon as possible. People naturally like to be independent and asking for help can feel uncomfortable, but the sooner the problem is identified the sooner a solution can be put in place. Russell Holland

3:13pm Sat 26 Jan 13

itsamess3 says...

Good advice from 2 of our councillors.
Good advice from 2 of our councillors. itsamess3

3:15pm Sat 26 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

Well said Russell and that applies to any debts. If you know you are not going to be able to pay them, get in touch before it happens, they will be far more willing to negotiate when you have gone to them rather than hiding away until they enldessly chase you. But there are still people out there who never pay bilss until the red ones arrive and pay at tle last possible moment and sometimes they get caught out. They are also the ones who would completely crazy if they werent paid on time but sadly the "double standards" society is on the increase in pretty much every area.

I spent many years working in debt recovery and at least half had no need to be in debt, they just didnt manage their money properly and wouldnt listen when you did try to advise them. So yes there are errors by companies and bailiffs are arrogant A holes, but for many there was no need to get to that stage in the first place.

We need to be teaching the real 3 "R's" in our Schools and Colleges today, Respect, Responsibilty and Reality, then they would all have a better chance in life not to get in a mess in the first place.

The Council will always make mistakes or is it Capita who collect the Council Tax? they dont care and are completely profit driven, so we need to be rid of them and put the responsibilty back in the hands we are forced to pay to do it, not some private sector partner who wouldnt care if Swindon burned to the ground as long as they got paid!
Well said Russell and that applies to any debts. If you know you are not going to be able to pay them, get in touch before it happens, they will be far more willing to negotiate when you have gone to them rather than hiding away until they enldessly chase you. But there are still people out there who never pay bilss until the red ones arrive and pay at tle last possible moment and sometimes they get caught out. They are also the ones who would completely crazy if they werent paid on time but sadly the "double standards" society is on the increase in pretty much every area. I spent many years working in debt recovery and at least half had no need to be in debt, they just didnt manage their money properly and wouldnt listen when you did try to advise them. So yes there are errors by companies and bailiffs are arrogant A holes, but for many there was no need to get to that stage in the first place. We need to be teaching the real 3 "R's" in our Schools and Colleges today, Respect, Responsibilty and Reality, then they would all have a better chance in life not to get in a mess in the first place. The Council will always make mistakes or is it Capita who collect the Council Tax? they dont care and are completely profit driven, so we need to be rid of them and put the responsibilty back in the hands we are forced to pay to do it, not some private sector partner who wouldnt care if Swindon burned to the ground as long as they got paid! house on the hill

5:58pm Sat 26 Jan 13

Peter Mallinson says...

Just Google "DRO" or "Debt Relief Order".

The government did this to help people.
Just Google "DRO" or "Debt Relief Order". The government did this to help people. Peter Mallinson

8:41pm Sat 26 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

or they could manage their money and then have no need for a DRO. its so easy to be irresponsible these days and have someone else pick up the tab. Imagine how you would feel if someone owed you money and took out a DRO and said **** you!
or they could manage their money and then have no need for a DRO. its so easy to be irresponsible these days and have someone else pick up the tab. Imagine how you would feel if someone owed you money and took out a DRO and said **** you! house on the hill

9:49pm Sat 26 Jan 13

The Real Librarian says...

Russell Holland wrote:
If anyone is struggling to pay Council tax the most important thing to do is to talk to the Council as soon as possible. For Council tenants struggling to pay rent the same applies.

Anyone with debt problems should seek advice as soon as possible.

People naturally like to be independent and asking for help can feel uncomfortable, but the sooner the problem is identified the sooner a solution can be put in place.
Well from my experience, one problem i have identified is that the people running the process on behalf of swindon council are imbeciles who dont give a toss about doing their job properly.
This is SBC's fault for employing them.
[quote][p][bold]Russell Holland[/bold] wrote: If anyone is struggling to pay Council tax the most important thing to do is to talk to the Council as soon as possible. For Council tenants struggling to pay rent the same applies. Anyone with debt problems should seek advice as soon as possible. People naturally like to be independent and asking for help can feel uncomfortable, but the sooner the problem is identified the sooner a solution can be put in place.[/p][/quote]Well from my experience, one problem i have identified is that the people running the process on behalf of swindon council are imbeciles who dont give a toss about doing their job properly. This is SBC's fault for employing them. The Real Librarian

9:57am Sun 27 Jan 13

house on the hill says...

TRL spot on. That is the real problem with this stupid "partnership" with Capita. They have no responsiblily to to Swindon, just to their shareholders to make as much money out of us as possible. They have taken hundreds of jobs from Swindon and given them to other towns, even the Council Tax and benefits call centre is in Coventry! As long as they provide the minimum service they are contracted to do, they will get their bonuses, no more no less. We need people with a real responsibility to the people who are foced to pay their wages to be running our council not some profit driven PLC who just dont care. No wonder so many councils have got rid of their partners around the country and we should too and bring all those jobs back here to boost our economy, its a disgraceful example our council are setting allowing jobs to be taken away!
TRL spot on. That is the real problem with this stupid "partnership" with Capita. They have no responsiblily to to Swindon, just to their shareholders to make as much money out of us as possible. They have taken hundreds of jobs from Swindon and given them to other towns, even the Council Tax and benefits call centre is in Coventry! As long as they provide the minimum service they are contracted to do, they will get their bonuses, no more no less. We need people with a real responsibility to the people who are foced to pay their wages to be running our council not some profit driven PLC who just dont care. No wonder so many councils have got rid of their partners around the country and we should too and bring all those jobs back here to boost our economy, its a disgraceful example our council are setting allowing jobs to be taken away! house on the hill

10:44am Sun 27 Jan 13

RichardR1 says...

They now apparently run the Parliament switchboard, but needless to say it's now not run from Westminster, that would be too easy wouldn't it.
They now apparently run the Parliament switchboard, but needless to say it's now not run from Westminster, that would be too easy wouldn't it. RichardR1

11:21am Sun 27 Jan 13

FlowerPower says...

Russell Holland that's a great idea. Except it doesn't work does it?

I got one of those infamous letters. Unfortunately for me, I was in hospital at the time undergoing heart surgery. Came home after 10 days, read the letter and phoned the council. Offered to make payments and explained the situation. I was told I had to visit the offices in person. So the very next morning (too late to go the first day) I struggled into town, on the bus, in pain and visited the offices. I explained everything, provided proof of where I'd been, and how ill and was told that it had been passed to the bailiffs and my case would be reviewed and may be taken back from the council. Much relieved I returned home, on the verge of collapse from the strain.

Three days later the bailiffs turned up, threatening, abusive and frightening. I tried to explain to them, even showed them the operation scars, which made one of them feel sick. But I still had to pay up, an arrangement that was HALF that which I'd offered to the council!!!

I ended up back in hospital that evening due to the stress causing issues with my heart.

SBC do not want to help deal with CT debt, that would take effort on their part. They have to help with rent arrears, due to the laws but not CT debt. Perhaps you'd care to go look at the situation more closely Russell.

I have never disputed owing the money, I've never tried to avoid paying, nor to get my debt cancelled. But bullying and abuse of someone recovering from heart surgery ( I had in fact undergone 3 surgeries in 9 weeks at that point. A fact I'd made known to SBC and the bailiffs) is not on. Especially when a substantial offer had been made to SBC!!
Russell Holland that's a great idea. Except it doesn't work does it? I got one of those infamous letters. Unfortunately for me, I was in hospital at the time undergoing heart surgery. Came home after 10 days, read the letter and phoned the council. Offered to make payments and explained the situation. I was told I had to visit the offices in person. So the very next morning (too late to go the first day) I struggled into town, on the bus, in pain and visited the offices. I explained everything, provided proof of where I'd been, and how ill and was told that it had been passed to the bailiffs and my case would be reviewed and may be taken back from the council. Much relieved I returned home, on the verge of collapse from the strain. Three days later the bailiffs turned up, threatening, abusive and frightening. I tried to explain to them, even showed them the operation scars, which made one of them feel sick. But I still had to pay up, an arrangement that was HALF that which I'd offered to the council!!! I ended up back in hospital that evening due to the stress causing issues with my heart. SBC do not want to help deal with CT debt, that would take effort on their part. They have to help with rent arrears, due to the laws but not CT debt. Perhaps you'd care to go look at the situation more closely Russell. I have never disputed owing the money, I've never tried to avoid paying, nor to get my debt cancelled. But bullying and abuse of someone recovering from heart surgery ( I had in fact undergone 3 surgeries in 9 weeks at that point. A fact I'd made known to SBC and the bailiffs) is not on. Especially when a substantial offer had been made to SBC!! FlowerPower

12:14pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Peter Mallinson says...

FlowerPower, if you took out a DRO Swindon council would not be allowed to either contact you or the bailiffs about your debt without committing a criminal offence. That is the law and is the protection that a DRO gives.
FlowerPower, if you took out a DRO Swindon council would not be allowed to either contact you or the bailiffs about your debt without committing a criminal offence. That is the law and is the protection that a DRO gives. Peter Mallinson

1:25pm Sun 27 Jan 13

semitonic says...

It's a sad fact that some people have a laisser faire attitude to paying their bills and end up in serious trouble which could be avoided if they just wised up a bit.

beach1e:
we really are a low, nasty society.


Speak for yourself.
It's a sad fact that some people have a laisser faire attitude to paying their bills and end up in serious trouble which could be avoided if they just wised up a bit. beach1e:[quote]we really are a low, nasty society.[/quote] Speak for yourself. semitonic

3:43pm Sun 27 Jan 13

Moth says...

TinkeyWinkey wrote:
So agree with beach1e


Wait until the new change in the Housing Benefit kicks in in April and how many more bills people run up and how much more money they will be owing. But they don't worry as if they're evicted they will run straight back to the Council to re-house them.
You show your ignorance on that one TinkeyWinkey. If someone loses their home because they haven't paid the rent, the Council is not under obligation to rehouse them as they have been deemed to have made themselves homeless.

However, while some people are having a good old moan about people on benefits, consider this.

I worked full-time for 35 years. Had to give up work to care for my critically ill son who, after a kidney transplant has now been restored to full health. He is now doing UNPAID work through the Work Programme and loving it. He wanted to work but his health wouldn't let him and he was only recently finally passed as fit to work. Unfortunately, there are many employers out there who see a kidney transplantee as a liability. My son is a highly intelligent young man who is largely self-taught through books and the internet. He has sailed through recent exams with 95 - 100% pass marks.

As if my son's ill health wasn't enough to deal with, my husband had major heart problems from 2004. He died almost 2 years ago.

Since then I have tried and tried to get a job but because I'm over 50, no-one wanted to know until recently when I was approached by a former colleague and offered a job. I bit his hand off for it.

As for benefits. I'd LOVE to know how some people get everything handed to them on a plate and others, like me, get NOTHING.

The benefits office (outsourced of course) messed up my claim for housing/council tax benefit badly. I am STILL trying to get that sorted out. They can't even do simple maths or even read what's infront of them. They keep asking for the same information over and over again. How much is that costing the taxpayer (which includes me).

I don't have a 47 inch TV. I don't go on holidays. I don't go out. I don't drink. I have NO social life whatsoever. I can barely afford to heat my home and put food on the table.

Will I be any better off now I'm working (albeit part-time)? No, not really - have to work to a VERY strict budget but just working and being USEFUL again and off the scrap heap - when I was offered the job, I felt I'd just won the lottery.

Not everyone who is on benefits wants to be and I say to people like you, before you open your big mouth and let your belly rumble, put yourself in other peoples' shoes first.

Not every person on benefits are scroungers. Many, like myself, paid handsomely into the system to get nothing back yet watch people from overseas come into this country without contributing one penny and get everything handed to them on a plate. Same applies to young girls who deliberately get themselves pregnant to fleece the state. That is what needs to be stopped but instead the government, both central and local are targetting the wrong people -
the sick, the old and the genuinely vulnerable.

None of us think that the unthinkable can happen to us but it can and does. Illness and tragedy could happen to you too.
[quote][p][bold]TinkeyWinkey[/bold] wrote: So agree with beach1e Wait until the new change in the Housing Benefit kicks in in April and how many more bills people run up and how much more money they will be owing. But they don't worry as if they're evicted they will run straight back to the Council to re-house them.[/p][/quote]You show your ignorance on that one TinkeyWinkey. If someone loses their home because they haven't paid the rent, the Council is not under obligation to rehouse them as they have been deemed to have made themselves homeless. However, while some people are having a good old moan about people on benefits, consider this. I worked full-time for 35 years. Had to give up work to care for my critically ill son who, after a kidney transplant has now been restored to full health. He is now doing UNPAID work through the Work Programme and loving it. He wanted to work but his health wouldn't let him and he was only recently finally passed as fit to work. Unfortunately, there are many employers out there who see a kidney transplantee as a liability. My son is a highly intelligent young man who is largely self-taught through books and the internet. He has sailed through recent exams with 95 - 100% pass marks. As if my son's ill health wasn't enough to deal with, my husband had major heart problems from 2004. He died almost 2 years ago. Since then I have tried and tried to get a job but because I'm over 50, no-one wanted to know until recently when I was approached by a former colleague and offered a job. I bit his hand off for it. As for benefits. I'd LOVE to know how some people get everything handed to them on a plate and others, like me, get NOTHING. The benefits office (outsourced of course) messed up my claim for housing/council tax benefit badly. I am STILL trying to get that sorted out. They can't even do simple maths or even read what's infront of them. They keep asking for the same information over and over again. How much is that costing the taxpayer (which includes me). I don't have a 47 inch TV. I don't go on holidays. I don't go out. I don't drink. I have NO social life whatsoever. I can barely afford to heat my home and put food on the table. Will I be any better off now I'm working (albeit part-time)? No, not really - have to work to a VERY strict budget but just working and being USEFUL again and off the scrap heap - when I was offered the job, I felt I'd just won the lottery. Not everyone who is on benefits wants to be and I say to people like you, before you open your big mouth and let your belly rumble, put yourself in other peoples' shoes first. Not every person on benefits are scroungers. Many, like myself, paid handsomely into the system to get nothing back yet watch people from overseas come into this country without contributing one penny and get everything handed to them on a plate. Same applies to young girls who deliberately get themselves pregnant to fleece the state. That is what needs to be stopped but instead the government, both central and local are targetting the wrong people - the sick, the old and the genuinely vulnerable. None of us think that the unthinkable can happen to us but it can and does. Illness and tragedy could happen to you too. Moth

6:57am Mon 28 Jan 13

TinkeyWinkey says...

Moth - where did my post say I thought "all" on benefits were scroungers!!!!


Those that "genuinely" need them, I have no problem with. And I know it's hard once you are past a certain age, as you then struggle for an Employer to want to take you on because of that.


so before you tell me to think before I open my big mouth - read the posting properly, as at no point did I mention all people on benefits are scroungers.
Moth - where did my post say I thought "all" on benefits were scroungers!!!! Those that "genuinely" need them, I have no problem with. And I know it's hard once you are past a certain age, as you then struggle for an Employer to want to take you on because of that. so before you tell me to think before I open my big mouth - read the posting properly, as at no point did I mention all people on benefits are scroungers. TinkeyWinkey

8:14am Mon 28 Jan 13

FlowerPower says...

Peter Mallinson. I was advised by CAB, who I went to for advice re dealing with bailiffs, that a DRO would not cover CT that had gone to bailiffs. Is this incorrect?

And are you saying that you'd rather I didn't pay my CT at all? Which is what a DRO would amount to if I took one out!!!

I'd prefer it if the council actually helped those who were struggling to be honest. Not just with rent either
Peter Mallinson. I was advised by CAB, who I went to for advice re dealing with bailiffs, that a DRO would not cover CT that had gone to bailiffs. Is this incorrect? And are you saying that you'd rather I didn't pay my CT at all? Which is what a DRO would amount to if I took one out!!! I'd prefer it if the council actually helped those who were struggling to be honest. Not just with rent either FlowerPower

8:23am Mon 28 Jan 13

RichardR1 says...

Excellent post Moth. It does indeed seem that some simply manage to get money out of the system without paying much in.

I know of a young family who were paid income support because the husband was on such low wages back in 2003. He stopped receiving this in 2005, however he has now received a demand for £3000 over payment.

He has asked for proof, but has been told that HMRC haven't got the 2003 paperwork, and yet they want to reduce his take code to claw back £250/month which he simply can't afford. His only option is to go to the Ombudsman who states on their website they have lots of such HMRC cases, and usually HMRC are told to go forth and multiple.

How can such abuses by the 'system' keep happening, and the scroungers get away with it. As this young man says, if he wasn't working they couldn't reclaim the money from his wages. Some incentive to work.
Excellent post Moth. It does indeed seem that some simply manage to get money out of the system without paying much in. I know of a young family who were paid income support because the husband was on such low wages back in 2003. He stopped receiving this in 2005, however he has now received a demand for £3000 over payment. He has asked for proof, but has been told that HMRC haven't got the 2003 paperwork, and yet they want to reduce his take code to claw back £250/month which he simply can't afford. His only option is to go to the Ombudsman who states on their website they have lots of such HMRC cases, and usually HMRC are told to go forth and multiple. How can such abuses by the 'system' keep happening, and the scroungers get away with it. As this young man says, if he wasn't working they couldn't reclaim the money from his wages. Some incentive to work. RichardR1

4:35pm Mon 28 Jan 13

Peter Mallinson says...

FlowerPower, I am trying to be helpful but the choice is yours. If you do not meet the criteria of a DRO then that is it.

I am not advocating that you do not pay SBC, I am trying to help people who are in debt and cannot see the end of the tunnel.

Many people require advice when they fall into debt and that is what I am trying to give. This will be wasted on some people but could be a life saver for others.
FlowerPower, I am trying to be helpful but the choice is yours. If you do not meet the criteria of a DRO then that is it. I am not advocating that you do not pay SBC, I am trying to help people who are in debt and cannot see the end of the tunnel. Many people require advice when they fall into debt and that is what I am trying to give. This will be wasted on some people but could be a life saver for others. Peter Mallinson

4:43pm Mon 28 Jan 13

FlowerPower says...

But you completely ignored my question. If a CT debt has already gone to the bailiffs, is it correct that a DRO does not apply to that particular debt?
But you completely ignored my question. If a CT debt has already gone to the bailiffs, is it correct that a DRO does not apply to that particular debt? FlowerPower

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