Pension chaos and DWP ministers complete indifference

03_february_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,335

Wednesday 03 February 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

As the national legislative body governments are responsible for the smooth or otherwise running of the nation. If policies create chaos the buck stops with government, be it work and pensions, foreign affairs, education, flood defences, the economy, health care, justice and so on. Yet governments and particularly your government are extremely good at finger pointing and laying the blame anywhere, usually the opposition, but where it rightfully belongs.

The current debacle over women’s pensions was wholly created by government. Hundreds of thousands of women have fallen foul of the DWP’s abysmal failure to notify them of changes in the pension age and the speeded up process of change which has left women with no chance of making alternative plans.

Speaking in parliament Shailesh Vara,  Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, told MPs, “We need to look at things in a broad context.” then proceeded to list a range of benefits, including jobseekers allowance as a solution to the problem failing himself to address the broad context in any way. He dumped the entire problem right back in women’s laps and shrugged his shoulders.

Meanwhile, his fellow minister for DWP chaos and mismanagement, Priti Patel, sat smirking and nodding as if Vara was pointing out the bleeding obvious to stupid children who are too dumb to get with the programme. I think the pair of them got off very lightly, cries of ‘rubbish’ were the least they deserved. How MP’s resisted the temptation to wipe the smug arrogance and self satisfied self assurance off their faces with a hefty slap I will never know.

Interestingly both Vara and Patel are the progeny of Ugandan immigrants of Gujarati origin, Patel’s parents fled here from Uganda under Idi Amin’s tender mercies about which Patel says, “Coming from a country where you’re persecuted means that you want to work hard and to contribute to the society where you end up.”

The irony cannot be lost on anyone with two brain cells to rub together that both have ended up in a department that specialises in persecuting people, nor that they take such evident pleasure in so doing and couldn’t care less for the consequences or for the justified complaints of those whose lives have been thrown into chaos.

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