Around six months ago, This Writer received a form letter from the Department for Work and Pensions, demanding details of my self-employed earnings from me (if I recall correctly) and saying my claim for Carers’ Allowance was in danger if I didn’t respond.
I found this behaviour extremely odd as I had quit Carers’ Allowance more than a year previously.
I wrote back, pointing this out, and also the fact that we had agreed at the time that I had done the right thing and that my finances were in order.
I did not receive a reply – neither acknowledgement nor apology.
I mention this because yesterday, on Twitter, I read the following:
Surprised to receive a letter from HM Government saying that I need to apply for #settlementscheme, being a EEA or Swiss national, while I've been a British Citizen since 1998 and have my Certificate of Naturalisation as well as British passport. Are there more cases like mine?
— J Opacka💙 (@jopackaj) May 15, 2021
It seems there are more such cases:
Apart from the anxiety this is caused individuals—it’s obviously appalling that this has happened—this again shows that Home Office system are not good enough. I really do dread 1 July of this year. There will be, a have no doubt, an avalanche of problems. https://t.co/7FG2hfbOLi
— Prof Tanja Bueltmann (@TanjaBueltmann) May 17, 2021
The Home Office letter, according to the article, tells long-term British citizens they risk losing the right to work, benefits and free healthcare unless they apply for UK immigration status in the next six weeks.
The article states that people are concerned that it reveals weaknesses in the Home Office’s databases, but I don’t think that’s right.
It seems more likely to be an attempt to repeat what I think the DWP was trying to do to me – catch me out by inducing me to provide evidence that could be used against me; a fishing expedition.
And the Home Office has the perfect cover for it at the moment: Brexit.
So officers can say (as they have) that they are using every avenue available to ensure that everyone who needs to apply for the EU settlement scheme may do so, before it is too late and they have to face other consequences.
They say the letter does include a paragraph stating that those who already have citizenship that they do not need to apply – but this is buried on page two, far below the shock announcement that recipients may lose their right to work, benefits and free healthcare (free? It’s supported by our taxes/NI).
It seems clear to me that the Conservatives are abusing their control of the UK’s bureaucracy in order to cause as much fear and confusion as possible, keeping the public off-balance.
This makes people more susceptible to manipulation – and more likely to accept that they deserve punishment when they haven’t done anything wrong.
It’s gaslighting – and right on the border of fraud.
It could be interpreted as a new development of the Tory government’s racist “hostile environment” policy.
I wonder how many people have been fooled by it – and how many other such scams are being run by the Tories?
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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