I was trying to choose between 3 different titles for this blog entry, in the end I decided I didn’t like any of them.
“FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!” was the first one. I decided not to go with that one, because I’ve calmed down.
“Government 2 – 0 Peter” was the next one, due to a few government organisations ( sections, agencies, whatever they are) being crap, stupid, uninformative, incorrect, inconsistent and they definitely smelt. All their emails and phone calls to me definitely smelt bad.
However I’m supportive of our country as a whole, many of my friends and family work for the government in some way or another, I’m actually happy enough paying my taxes and I feel like I benefit from them. So I decided that title was also unfair.
Then I decided to go with “the whole show went to shit”, again because I felt a bit low and partly becuase it was a reference to Matt Lucas playing Sir Bernard Chumley, but I got the quote wrong… he says “the show goes to shit”.
So I am at present title-less, and I hope I’ll have thought of one by the end of this post.
… (a week later) …
Right then, I’ve just decided to call it “silly government”.
I got about 30% of the way through a first draft, and decided 1000 words was too long. Then I got about 70% of the way through a second draft, and hit 700 words. So this is my 3rd attempt at writing this.
Basically, me and Holly have had some trouble with inconsistent and unexplained benefits, to help Holly get through uni whilst putting Issy in nursery full time.
Because I racked up close to 20k of debt before I met Holly, I put a reasonable amount of money into clearing my debt each month, so although I pay a reasonable amount towards Issy’s care, I don’t have £700 a month for nursery fees.
First stupid thing, is when Holly lived with her parents when Issy was a newborn, she lived rent free when she was there. and she got paid quite a lot of benefit. When Holly moved in with me and started paying rent, she lost a lot of the benefit/grants etc. Luckily being so very clever, she saved it up when she didn’t need it so she had it when we did.
Then Holly went back to Uni, and the government kindly provided some assistance towards Issy’s nursery fees. This was all good and nice, better that Holly finishes uni and gets a good education etc. Then I got a payrise!
Wow, that’s the kind of thing you celebrate right? WELL IT BLOODY ISN’T!
I got paid X amount of money. Then 6 months later on the Friday before Holly went back to uni, the Student Loans Company (government run) sent us a letter saying
“Pete’s income means he is responsible for Issy. So Holly can’t have any money”.
This was a bit of a bummer. So we phoned them, wrote to them, sent a 200 page appeal of bills, statements, spreadsheets etc, asking why my £X pay rise cost holly £4X in grant money! We never got a proper answer, we got 3 letters all saying “Pete is responsible for Issy”.
I’d have been better off not getting a payrise.
Anyway, to try and combat this slightly, I thought I could apply for child care vouchers. This is where your company can pay £50 a week of your nursery bills, and you don’t get paid tax on it. It basically would have saved me about £60 a month in tax, which is a reasonable reduction on the nursery bill.
However… because Holly and me aren’t married, I don’t have legal responsibility over Issy. SO I DON’T GET CHILDCARE VOUCHERS!!
So basically, Holly doesn’t get a grant because I AM responsible for Issy. I don’t get any tax relief because I AM NOT responsible for Issy!
I like this country quite a bit. Or I did. Yay, the personal tax allowance went up, and yay it’s going up again. And all my friends and family that work for the country do a wonderful job and my taxes get me lovely health care and stuff.
But I think that just makes me more angry when stupid back end office nonsense like this goes wrong.
I hate the student loans company so much. If I could go back in time I wouldn’t take the loan with them. I earnt just as much money working at staples 15 hours a week. Which isn’t much at all.
Let’s all move to new zealand and drive V8 muscles cars and pick up trucks.