Working tax credits were introduced to help families who struggle to make ends meet despite being in work. But I have come across dozens of families who have had serious financial problems because of mix ups with the administration of their tax credits.
A mum-of-two from Kirkby contacted my office recently after months of to-ing and fro-ing with HMRC over a new claim for tax credits that she had submitted with her partner. Due to delays and errors, they had not received any money and had been driven into debt as their case was passed from one department to another. I got in touch with HMRC on their behalf and am delighted to say that HMRC realised its error and sent this lady more than £3,500 which she was owed, plus gave her £60 in compensation. Situations like this shouldn’t occur but I would urge anyone to contact me if they find themselves in a similar position.
Unscrupulous employers are a scourge on our society, taking advantage of people because they know that they need the job and the money it earns them. A Sutton man called in at my office recently desperate for help because his new employer had not paid him any wages even though he had done a full month’s work. The work involved travel but he had been left out of pocket and could not even afford to put petrol in his car, so he quit the job and went to the Job Centre to sign on. Hoping to find help, he instead was told that as he had resigned, he was not entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance and was left with no income whatsoever. I took up his case with the Job Centre, explaining his predicament and thankfully they backed down and agreed to pay him the much-needed benefit while he looks for another job. In the meantime I am helping him try to get the wages that he is owed, because his ex-employer’s behaviour is just not acceptable.
Speaking of looking for work, the Ashfield Jobs Fair which takes place on Friday at Kirkby’s Festival Hall Leisure Centre. More than 30 different employers will be there and looking to recruit new staff, so it is a great opportunity for people to find a new job. The event runs from 10am until 2pm so come along and see if there is something suitable for you.