Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Democorruptcy

Benefit Claimants Can Keep Overpayments

Recommended Posts

Benefit claimants who were overpaid will not have to return the money after the Supreme Court dismissed a government challenge.

Child poverty campaigners said the ruling would protect vulnerable people

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) went to court after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sent out 65,000 letters to benefits claimants telling them they could face legal action if their overpayments were not returned.

Judges at the Court of Appeal ruled in October last year the Government had no power to recover overpaid social security benefits from claimants who had done nothing wrong.

In response the then Secretary of State, Yvette Cooper, took the case to the highest court in the land for a final decision.

Between March 2006 and February 2007 the Government wrote to claimants telling them it could sue them in the county court if they did not pay back overpayments.

The letters acknowledged that the money was paid due to DWP's own mistakes.

The benefits affected include those paid to families and those with disabilities as well as pensioners.

We hope the department will regret the anguish caused to many of the people who received the letters and will seek to improve its own administration.

Child Poverty Action Group

CPAG was unsuccessful in the High Court but three judges at the Court of Appeal agreed there was no power of recovery where the overpayments were the result of a mistake and not of misrepresentation or fraud.

The judges also ordered that the letters sent out to overpaid claimants, suspended pending their decision, should cease.

Chief executive of CPAG Alison Garnham described it as an "important decision".:

"Even though the letters claimants were sent acknowledged it was the Government's own errors and the debt was unrecoverable under its own social security law, explicit threats of court action were still made.

"We hope that the department will regret the anguish caused to many of the people who received the letters and will seek to improve its own administration to avoid overpayment problems."

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Benefit-Claimants-Will-Keep-Overpayments-After-Government-Loses-Supreme-Court-Challenge/Article/201012215849882?lpos=Politics_Second_Home_Page_Article_Teaser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15849882_Benefit_Claimants_Will_Keep_Overpayments_After_Government_Loses_Supreme_Court_Challenge

Life on dole 1 - 0 Working like a mug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Life on dole 1 - 0 Working like a mug

This is a totally shocking judgement.

What it means is that if anyone anywhere makes an overpayment mistake, then there is no chance to get it back. That is the new principle.

And yet people and organisations make mistakes all the time. It could be the government, or you or me, or the bank. If it is a mistake, it was a basic principle that it has to be repaid. If not, innocent people might be unable to retrieve simple things like overpayment made on a car, overpayment on a debt etc.

Businesses make mistakes when paying each other all the time. From now on, every business is going to have to carry a bigger overhead of triple checking every payment before they make it.

And as someone pointed out, the freeloaders have just got double prizes, at the expense of the hard working. You as a taxpayer, have no redress, the supreme court wont let you get your money back.

There appears to be no justice in this land.

Edited by leicestersq

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much in total was overpaid to 65,000 claimants and how much did this legal challenge cost?

It may be only 65000 claimants, but there is a pretty massive principle involved.

It means that any overpayment by the government cannot be reclaimed in future. That is the real cost, and that is a potentially massive figure.

The government will need to pass a new law on this one if the taxpayer is to be protected against inevitable mistakes made by the state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be only 65000 claimants, but there is a pretty massive principle involved.

It means that any overpayment by the government cannot be reclaimed in future. That is the real cost, and that is a potentially massive figure.

The government will need to pass a new law on this one if the taxpayer is to be protected against inevitable mistakes made by the state.

But surely the more cost effective way would be to leave this alone and change the law? Rather than wasting taxpayer money on a case their is a good chance of you losing.

Hasn't the precedent already been set on this with people making mistakes sending money via banks to the wrong account only to be told they have no legal redress to getting their money back?

I agree it's unfair, mistakes happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How much in total was overpaid to 65,000 claimants and how much did this legal challenge cost?

Can't find mention of it, but my guess would be that far more was spent on legal costs than they ever hoped to recover, but that's not the point because that money went to rich people, not poor people.

When you have two groups of slaves, the easiest way to keep them under control is to encourage each group to blame the other for its plight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Life on dole 1 - 0 Working like a mug

If the employed 'workers' were not the mugs in the first place - there would be no case to answer.

So the 'workers' Govt were not doing their 'job' correctly.

All the HR dickhead lunatics who employed them should be thrown out of their useless jobs!

Yvonne Cooper is utter scum - like her bilderberg husband who has fekked up the UK Skooling!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be only 65000 claimants, but there is a pretty massive principle involved.

It means that any overpayment by the government cannot be reclaimed in future. That is the real cost, and that is a potentially massive figure.

The government will need to pass a new law on this one if the taxpayer is to be protected against inevitable mistakes made by the state.

Errr didn't the Govt recently let off loads 1000's of people who had their taxes assessed wrongly?

"It beggars belief as to how matters have been allowed to get out of control to this extent. Senior management must take the responsibility for this as HMRC has seen constant cuts in staff working at the coalface at the expense of 'customer relations staff' and senior management. Heads should roll.

"The fact that it will take at least four years to clear the backlog means that no one can rest easy thinking that their tax position is correct. About half of the population could be affected. It's an absolute debacle.This can only lead to low morale within HMRC – perhaps David Hartnett [permanent secretary for tax] will roll up his sleeves and help his fellow workers."

Tax experts are urging those who receive unexpected tax bills for the tax years 2008-09 or before to ask for the outstanding amount to be written off.

Revenue rules stipulate that if the Revenue has been given all the relevant information to work out a correct tax code, but has failed to use it within 12 months of the end of the tax year in which it received that information, the taxpayer is entitled to asked for the tax to be waived through an "extra statutory concession" or ESC A19.

The first signs of a taxpayers' revolt emerged today, with experts and consumer groups producing sample letters that those affected can tailor to their situation and send off to HMRC in an attempt to get the underpayments waived.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The costs of the case will be significant because it's been going on for ages. The ruling today is the final ruling from the Supreme Court. The government lost the original case in October 2009

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8307059.stm

The government probably thought it was worth paying, as an investment because if they won they could carry on being lax about payments and get them back.

The ruling covers social security payments and child benefit not tax credits, housing benefit and council tax benefit which can all still be claimed back

http://www.cpag.org.uk/welfarerights/overpayment-recovery/overpayment-recovery.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And yet people and organisations make mistakes all the time. It could be the government, or you or me, or the bank. If it is a mistake, it was a basic principle that it has to be repaid. If not, innocent people might be unable to retrieve simple things like overpayment made on a car, overpayment on a debt etc.

.

It depends

Let me give a scenario that counters what you are saying

Your boss tells you, that have have had a pay rise of 10 grand and so then over the next six months six monthly payments of the new amount (equivelent to a 10 grand rise) go into your account. After this period your boss informs you that he made a mistake and you should only have got a 2 grand rise and so would you kindly return the excess

Two chances

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuel duty up 0.76p Jan 1st, VAT up 2.5% Jan 4th - costs to get to work increasing.

Life on dole 2 - 0 Working like a mug

Hmm, but whether you have a car or not, whether you are working or not, everybody is adversely affected by fuel duty and VAT rises so this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

By definition, anybody on Social Security is being paid the minimum rate considered necessary to exist, yet your anger is reserved for those who will not be having money stopped from their £65 a week or whatever and not towards the lawyers who will have profited over many years charging the taxpayer £200+ per hour.

Truly the Lower Orders worship their masters!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hopefully the government will take this ruling and decide that it's too risky to take money of people and repay it in benefits, in case they get it wrong.

The logical conclusion is to take less money off people and stop paying benefits.

I'll be happy with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, but whether you have a car or not, whether you are working or not, everybody is adversely affected by fuel duty and VAT rises so this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

By definition, anybody on Social Security is being paid the minimum rate considered necessary to exist, yet your anger is reserved for those who will not be having money stopped from their £65 a week or whatever and not towards the lawyers who will have profited over many years charging the taxpayer £200+ per hour.

Truly the Lower Orders worship their masters!

I agree that everyone is adversely effected by the fuel duty and VAT rises.

What I meant was that to encourage people into work it has got to look financially viable as opposed to living on benefits. The fuel increase means that getting to work costs more and could weigh against the viability of working. The "I cannot afford to work because benefits pay more" mentality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...By definition, anybody on Social Security is being paid the minimum rate considered necessary to exist....

See, that's the bit that gripes right there. If it truly was only that, then there would be no incentive to really stay on benefits for life.

I do agree though that it is merely a sideshow to how we're being stripped of our incomes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, that's the bit that gripes right there. If it truly was only that, then there would be no incentive to really stay on benefits for life.

err ..show your logic on that one

If there were no productive opportunity left un-monoplised, the alternative to a life on minimal benefits might be starvation

It's still an incentive

There is no incentive to stay on the dole if the economy works so that producers get their production. Unfortunately our economy works so that real estate owners get the productive surpluses; hence all the problems

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps this may incentivise the coalition to massively simplify the benefits system and reduce the risk of this sort of mistake occurring in the future.

I agree with the court on this decision, as long as claimants havn't actively deceived the state the money is their property once it reaches their bank account. The gov't is at fault and should to take the hit, even though it does end up in the lap of the taxpayer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See, that's the bit that gripes right there. If it truly was only that, then there would be no incentive to really stay on benefits for life.

I do agree though that it is merely a sideshow to how we're being stripped of our incomes.

I would say that in most cases, the majority of the State Benefits which a claimant "receives" goes to pay the cost of housing them and thus goes to a landlord.

By definition, most of us are on HPC because of a belief that housing costs are too high and this, rather than some inherent fecklessness is what deters people from working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends

Let me give a scenario that counters what you are saying

Your boss tells you, that have have had a pay rise of 10 grand and so then over the next six months six monthly payments of the new amount (equivelent to a 10 grand rise) go into your account. After this period your boss informs you that he made a mistake and you should only have got a 2 grand rise and so would you kindly return the excess

Two chances

If the person who made the mistake can show in court that it was a mistake, and that it had been recognised and communicated promptly, then the excess should be returned. You have to allow people to make the odd mistake.

In the case of salaries, there is less scope for error, as how much you earn isnt that complicated in its calculation.

However, benefits are notoriously complicated, and subject to all sorts of errors. I am not surprised that there has been overpayments, and I am sure that this occurs far too regularly. So the Government should have longer to recognise the problem and to communicate it than an employer. Indeed, I think that some of the benefits system works by subjecting payments to constant recalculation, such is the complexity.

As some have posted here, a simpler system, such as a citizen's income or negative income tax, is the correct way to go. Far simpler, less subject to error and hence any need to go to court to reclaim payment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

err ..show your logic on that one

If there were no productive opportunity left un-monoplised, the alternative to a life on minimal benefits might be starvation

It's still an incentive

There is no incentive to stay on the dole if the economy works so that producers get their production. Unfortunately our economy works so that real estate owners get the productive surpluses; hence all the problems

If there were no productive opportunity left un-monoplised, the alternative to a life on minimal benefits might be starvation

The life for many on benefits is far better than for those working. Comparing incomes before benefits and tax have been applied give a very misleading figure of people's means. Factor these two in, and many working people dont look to be doing so well. Add in the benefits you get for being on the social that arent normally included as income, like free school meals and getting a free house, not having to pay for the journey to work, then the financially prudent choice is to not work.

There is no incentive to stay on the dole if the economy works so that producers get their production.

Without benefits, there is every incentive to work even if producers only obtain a portion of their production.

Unfortunately our economy works so that real estate owners get the productive surpluses; hence all the problems

They do get some of the productive surplus, but by no means all. And I assume you are meaning the difference between what the producers produce and what they get as the surplus. Some of that surplus goes to land and property owners. Some goes to to the owners of 'capital'. And some goes to doleys on the social.

Producers would get more if you eliminated the last bit.

As for land owners, I didnt realise that land was exempt from inheritance tax. That has to change. I cannot think of a more redistributive tax than to tax this asset just like everything else. I would go as far to say that there should be no tax free element of inheritance.

I still believe that people have the right to own capital and property, subject to a tax on the income it provides. I dont see a problem with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for land owners, I didnt realise that land was exempt from inheritance tax. That has to change. I cannot think of a more

I'm pretty sure it's not exempt from IHT. Can anyone confirm?

Edited by Reck B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure it's not exempt from IHT. Can anyone confirm?

There was in IHT thread where I thought that it said this. After your questioning of it, I am wondering if I misinterpreted what was said.

I sincerely hope that land value is subject to IHT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 276 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.