Saturday, 19 February 2011

DWP betray an elderly couple

The DWP assured us that the ‘issues raised’ in this troubling case had ‘never come up’ before.

We suggest they get a copy of the evidence Ann Abraham, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, gave to the Commons Public Administration Committee last week and turn to page 12, paragraph three.

Mrs Abraham is responding to a question from Robert Halfon — the Hortons’ MP — who wanted to know if she [Abraham] had ever dealt with a similar complaint. She had, and gave the following example.

‘It was somebody being a good citizen, responding to a request to help with a benefit fraud investigation,’ Ann Abraham told the committee.

They got an absolute promise that their witness statement and the information they had given would be anonymous, and then discovered, in the bundle of papers that went to court, there it all was. The consequences for that family were dreadful — again, a campaign of harassment — very difficult, very distressing.

MP Robert Halfon, who described his constituents as ‘utterly decent salt-of-the-earth individuals’.

‘In this case,’ he said, ‘the State has stood idly by for four years while an elderly couple have been systematically persecuted. What is the point of laws at all if only the good and decent suffer because of incompetence and bureaucracy?’

My comment: Another shocking example of how the state can ruin your life just for being a good citizen.

Read the full story from the source  Mail On-Line

Read all articles about the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on this blog

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