In the letter (dated 7th July 2016) from the Adjudicator’s Office, that I received on 13th July 2016, they asked me to let them know, in writing, if I had any comments I wished to make about the HMRC Report that they’d also sent me. As I’d got less than 2 weeks to make my comments to the Adjudicator’s Office, I have today posted off my 14 pages of comments, a pile of itemised phone bills, and copies of some other evidence. The envelope weighed just over half a kilo when the postmaster weighed it. I paid extra for Guaranteed Next Day Delivery, as I’ve thrown so much effort into my response to the HMRC Report, that I’m petrified of missing the deadline. My 14 pages of comments barely touches the surface as to how HMRC’s/Child Benefit Office’s maladministration and utter incompetence has severely affected me over the last 3 years. I’ve got box files full of paperwork that’s been generated on both sides, that I’d need months to adequately describe or photocopy.
On page 4 of the HMRC/Child Benefit Report, their Customer Relations Manager wrote: “I regret we did not deal with [X’s] complaints more effectively than we did and I would like to apologise for this. I will write to [X] after you have investigated her complaint if you agree this is appropriate and I will send her £50 compensation to show I am sorry.”
My response to this pathetic offer of £50 reads as follows:
“£50 compensation” – It has been 3 years of immense stress and anxiety. Reams and reams of paperwork, numerous phone calls/emails. It’s had a knock-on effect with Child Support Maintenance, as CSA simply base their decisions of entitlement on HMRC’s/Child Benefit Office’s substandard decisions. And I had to pay bedroom tax of approx £14 per week from early June 2015 to 7th/9th Sept 2015, despite [my child] occupying the bedroom, and being dependent on me! Over the last 3 years I’ve been so short of money I’ve had to pay overdraft charges, and haven’t had enough money to go on holiday last year or this year. There are already 2 x Child Benefit Tribunals/Appeals, and 4 x CSA Appeals/Tribunals (HMCTS have lost a further 2 x CSA Applications from me to register another 2 x CSA Appeals). I’ve also got a lengthy complaint in the queue with the Independent Case Examiner regarding 3 years of CSA incompetence/maladministration. I constantly have the cloud of stress weighing down on me. My MP referred me to BarProBono, for which I had to complete the lengthy and complex application form myself, and had to photocopy several dozen pieces of evidence, but after months of waiting, BarProBono haven’t been able to find anyone to assist me. I also have 2 x unrelated Tribunals in the pipeline, and I was supposed to have applied for a Judicial Review of one other Tribunal Decision in April 2016. But the sheer volume and complexity of the many ChB and CSA issues has left me unable to do this, thus far. I also suffer with my health issues. You can imagine how long it must take me to even do this response. The cost of printer ink, postage etc too.
£50 is an insult, it’s not even a drop in the ocean.”