Wednesday, 17 February 2010
A penny for your thoughts
However, I refer you to the case of Mary Gibson, a fabric cutter from Nottingham who received a demand this week for 1p. That’s right, Mrs Gibson was asked to pay off a debt of £0.01 that was still outstanding from a crisis loan she took out from the Department of Social Security eight years ago. The loan was paid off in 2006 but apparently there was still a penny left on the books.
Mrs Gibson received a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions (the successor to the Department of Social Security) asking her to settle the debt by February 18. It helpfully offered to let her pay the outstanding amount in installments!
A spokeswoman for the DWP said: “While we will always pursue outstanding Social Fund loans to make sure they are fully paid, clearly on this occasion a letter should not have been sent.”
Clearly the government is still employing the wrong kind of people in parts of the public sector. Whatever happened to common sense? I suppose it’s just not that common any more.