Tag Archives: Win a holiday in Allepo

Bloomin eck! I can’t think of a title….

10 Feb

They were once called The Midland Bank, a lion for an emblem and a jingle that said they were the listening bank. They are now HSBC and with 7000 UK clients putting £21.7billion into Swiss accounts it’s causing bank plus government  embarrassment and headaches so quite clear who the bank have been listening to.

Many pundits have made the point that when it comes to getting stuck in the powers that be much prefer easy targets, dim people that have over-claimed benefits rather than a known individual that has spirited £millions away with the banks help.

Still listening?

Still listening?

There’s a grim story from Saturday’s Independent of 66 year old Malcolm Burge who owed £800, was faced with a wall of intolerant bureaucracy and threats which overwhelmed his recognised vulnerability and ended with his suicide. He set fire to himself but this act of immolation for the most part went unnoticed. The Dept of Work and Pensions hold files on 49 persons who hounded for overpayments took a violent option to escape persecution. The Government has absolved itself of any link.  Diabetic David Clapham disturbed our local viewing schedule a few weeks back when the inquest into his death reported on TV showed his hounding and death through starvation after his benefits were cut. No electric in his flat so nowhere to keep his insulin cool, £3.44 in the bank. Bleak!

Bedford Bypass has highlighted two local cases, one where a single parent who’s son has a life limiting condition was subject to a “gotcha” by the council after over-claiming benefits in what they conceded was a genuine oversight but the tone of the correspondence was determined and ruthless and it was only after the (tory) MP got involved that a softer stance came about. No such luck for a Kempston woman who after suffering an aneurysm fell behind with council tax payments and was “gotcha’d” by the council and into bankruptcy. There is a happy ending… her husband died of a massive coronary and she managed to sort out at least some of her debt to society!

Dirty washing!

Dirty washing!

I’ve got no truck with benefits cheats but I don’t have this middle England desire to see them swinging from trees, I’m more amused at how they get caught as they all appear to be a bit thick. I get riled when I see councillors berating people when their own track record isn’t pure. How about being off sick from your teacher’s job and being shown on telly at a political shindig or being long term sick and enjoying a bit of fishing! It all stems from that personal line in the sand.

Every year Bedford Borough Council have to write over £half a million of unrecoverable debt off and  these publicly available papers show that despite their best efforts to recover their money they have had to give up …because Mr D who owed £10,059.62 and Mrs H owing £21,283 both went and died. The full circumstances aren’t disclosed so I don’t know if they were with the HSBC or not!