Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The cost of bureaucracy

The CAB called me the other day to say that the £75 I earnt won't be taken off a week's worth of income support, forcing me to make a rapid reclaim. That's good news in a way.

However, I tumble head first into red tape that may very well squeeze the life out of me.

I must phone Work and Pensions, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits and tell them all "my circumstances have changed." It's a one off payment so my circumstances haven't changed at all really.

This £75 will be "floated". Divvied up over the year, my weekly 'earnings' comes to £1.44. I am allowed to earn £20 a week before benefits get taken off.

Declaring it should cost me nothing therefore. However, calls to W&P, HB and TC are not free. Nor the stamps when they send me forms to fill in and send back. Seen from the other side, their admin costs, for such a small one off sum, will be quite big in comparison.

Hardly seems worth declaring it really. I'm not quite sure what to do. Declare the one off to both our costs, or collect several one off's and declare the lot at the same time? If I do that though the machine might think I have an earning capacity more stable than I actually do.

Oh my symbolic husband does not want me freelancing. My symbolic husband is not encouraging me to go back to my old career, where I have experience and remaining skills.

My symbolic husband wants me back in the factory, scraping the minimum wage with no entitlement to holiday pay, time off sick or a pension.

Yes, I watched "Blood, Sweat and Luxuries" on BBC 3 last night. It reminded me of so much.

Is the future of my country the reality of the Third World?

Thai protestors have courage. Why can't they be listened to instead of gunned down?


Jennysmith said...

Good grief! Nothing is simple is it?
Hope you get through it, Stig. Will think of you.

Never heard of that programme - whats it about?


Stigmum said...

Cheers mamma. The programme's about six rich British teenagers heading off to Asia to do work experience at the bottom rung of luxuries they/we take for granted. Working on rice plantations, digging for gold,making the chips for our computers and mps players (last night that one, very, very depressing and the english boy who refused to do it even for a couple of days, even though it's the peoples everyday lives...all women in those factories sending their low wages back to their families...a reminder of how fecking cheap we are)Those that don't do that, sort out rubbish on the dumps. Put the whole Thai revolt thing into perspective and what could come to us, with the tories raising employees national insurance but not the employers. It's not lookin' good....!