We’ve already had countless U-turns and Omni-shambled under the Coalition Government but this weekend I have read two particular pieces that have me totally bemused!
The Guardian’s report of a third of Local Authorities (LA) acting unlawfully through ‘housing’ homeless families and indivuduals in B&B’s for longer than the legal six week limit (i). It’s not only a worrying article but they also published a selection of receipts for this cost; each receipt indicated how it costs LAs far more to pay than the allocated Housing Benefit Allowance (ii).
How can it be just that LAs are allowed to pay almost double the amount to local businesses to ‘house’ people than people themselves can claim in Housing Benefit?
Then there was the report of ATOS subcontracting the assessments for Health related benefits to the NHS! (iii). The NHS and GPs are the very people who’s opinion ATOS totally disregard when carrying out Work Capability Assessments (WCA) so can anyone explain how, the NHS can be regarded as suitable to act in this capacity?
Not only is this a complete oxymoron; I do not understand why the Department of Health is not jumping up and down and screaming at IDS for the money back?
The only reason I can think of for paying an outside contractor to do a job,whether it be ATOS or local businesses, and then they pay a Public Service to carry it out, is to syphon Public Money into the Private Sector; and whilst I don’t know if this practice is legal, it’s definitely not the role of Parliament.