Government Terrorising Poor with Debt Collection Agencies: Leoni al-Ajeel’s Story

This morning I reblogged Mike’s post from over at Vox Political on the government’s use of debt collection agencies against people, who have been overpaid tax credits due to mistakes by the Inland Revenue, ‘Tax credit debt collection is a double-edged attack on the poor’. Many people have experienced problems with the authorities claiming that they have mistakenly overpaid benefit claimants, and threatening them with legal action. One of those, who have been a victim of this is Leoni al-Ajeel, one of the commenters on Mike’s blog. In her comment on Mike’s post, she gives her account of her struggle with the authorities, who repeatedly claimed that they had overpaid her. She writes

I also have debt with Tax credits, I received a letter saying I owe them £997 and I must pay it back. This is not the only letter I got, I got letter from council saying I had an overpayment of £1,500 in rent and I owe council tax for the amount of £616, so I am left paying all this debt plus rent council tax in my new home. I received a rebate twice from council tax saying I paid too much, one was for £98 then the second was for £100 then to get a letter after I had moved saying I owe £616 is ridiculous. So someone made the same mistake twice leaving me to pay for their mistake. They know all your income etc but yet we are punished for their mistakes. I am beginning to wonder if I owe any of this money they say I do because you get no explanation even though you ask for one. So now I am left with all this debt I never had before and struggle to pay this debt plus all the council tax and rent I have to pay in my new home. I was debt free but not now they have pushed me into debt, its disgusting that they can get away with this, should it not be them that is penalized for making these mistakes not once but twice. I work 30hrs a week and have to pay just short of £25 a week council tax and £56 a week rent and I am on minimum wage, plus the council tax and rent from old house.

And I’ve absolutely no doubt whatsoever that there are many thousands more like Leoni, forced into debt and fear through no fault of their own but that of bureaucrats in the Civil Service.

And this is, of course, another example of the Tory and Tory Democrat government’s massive double standards. As Mike points out in the above article, the Tories are persecuting the poor, who cannot fight back, while hundreds of millions of tax revenue has been lost through off-shore tax havens, set up to make their rich donors’ earnings more ‘tax efficient’.

It’s time this was reversed. The legislation giving such powers to debt collection agencies the right to persecute the poor should be immediately repealed, and the original leeway allowing for overpayment of tax credit to the poor through simple official mistakes – not fraud – should be reintroduced. And most of all, the Tories and their Lib Dem accomplices should be thrown out of office, and their rich paymasters forced to pay their fare share of the nation’s debts. Debts that they, after all, in the case of the bankers, created.

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5 Responses to “Government Terrorising Poor with Debt Collection Agencies: Leoni al-Ajeel’s Story”

  1. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  2. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  3. amnesiaclinic Says:

    It’s very, very unfair. To fight this you need time and the paperwork in meticulous order and then the patience to go to see them and go through it month by month. All the things that the people struggling on minimum wage with all the other cuts do not have. Now CAB’s have virtually disappeared there is very little you can do except pay up or there is a fine of £85 straight away for the summons for the magistrates court with council tax.

  4. aidsbuff Says:

    Reblogged this on AIDSbuff and commented:
    Voting the ConDems out of office would be a start….

  5. hugosmum70 Says:

    even those instigating these repayments/bailliffs etc have probably got offshore accounts too. most millonaires do. that surely is how they STAY millionaires. and as our top leaders in westminster are millionaires and / or (as in the case of IDS) leeching off their spouses and their well to do family.it follows he and others like him (are their others THAT much like that evil B******???) will probably have offshore accounts or the family he is part of will.ok supposition i know. but bet i am right.

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