10 January 2014


There once was a period of time, perhaps a brief period of time, but nevertheless there was indeed a time when a Minister of the Crown took responsibility for the actions of his department whether or not he was personally involved in those actions.  In the Crichel Down affair, Sir Thomas Dugdale resigned when the Ministry of Agriculture made a mess.

It is unlikely to happen nowadays, least of all as a result of the incompetence of the Department of Work and Pensions:
Thousands of people have been wrongly identified as liable for the bedroom tax, including some who now face eviction or have been forced to move to a smaller property, as a result of an error by Department of Work and Pensions.
Housing experts believe as many as 40,000 people could be affected by the mistake. The DWP says it believes only a "small number" of tenants are affected, which it estimates number 5,000.
All could be eligible for refunds worth on average at least £640 per claimant and millions in aggregate.
The error affects working age tenants in social housing who have occupied the same home continuously since 1996. An oversight by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when drafting the legislation means that the housing benefit regulations dating from 1996 were not updated when the coalition legislated for the bedroom tax.
And so, another scandal sticks to the wall, with nobody accepting responsibility.

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