Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The dependency culture

I have now come across three people I know who have been told by people in authority that they should stop work and be better off.

The first is a single mother of three working part time and behind with council tax due to the mistakes of her local housing benefit department. She stopped work. For her work was a fulfilling therapy which got her out of the house. When she went back to part time work she immediately received a bill for all her tax debt from the council. What a disincentive to gainful employment.

The second is a man working on low pay for a charity. With a growing family and money very short he sought help and was told he should stop work and be better off on benefits.

The third is another part time worker. Once again, returning to work meant a mess up with housing benefits and a demand for council tax. A court summons resulted. She went to contest it and at the court asked for a duty solicitor. An unidentified woman came and started asking her questions. It turned out she was not a duty solicitor but an officer of the local authority. She was agressive and ill informed about the worker's case. Once again she said the debtor should stop work.

I have tried to raise press interest about public sector employees who encourage the dependency culture. It keeps these bums on their seats The media do not seem to care. Who does apart from this disgruntled tax payer and employer?

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