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Communication between Gov’t departments

Comment 9th September 2010

I would like to see more communication between government departments. Mainly housing and council benefit from councils being able to access working tax credits and other departments to check a claimants monetry situation if they are on any benefits etc. 

At the moment the councils can only get the information if they send out letters to people and usually send half a trees worth at a time and wait for a reply. This is a lengthy process fraught with pitfalls along the way.

My council tells me that at present they cannot do this despite the fact many people ask why they can't. I would gladly sign a form on my application to say I allow/give my permission for them to contact other govn't offices to check I am claiming the right amount. I have nothing to hide and I want to make the process easier where the room for error is minimalised.

I am fed up of waiting for the tax credits people to actually answer their phones so I can chase up where my award notice is that I need to send to the council so they can check my claim is up to date. Usually this process can take ages which then means overpayments and councils then try to claim this back which is a whole lot harder to do and is very frustrating to all.

Why does this matter?

My idea is important because it would save money for all concerned in uneccessary paperwork/postage and time. It will also hunt out a fair portion of the benefit cheats. The govn't is trying to save money and this will save quite a bit in unecessary paperwork/phonecalls/manhours etc chasing up and checking claims.

If you have nothing to hide you wouldn't mind this kind of checking.

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