El­derly at risk in hos­tile sys­tem

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

My 93-year-old mother re­cently moved into new ac­com­mo­da­tion.

She was sent a coun­cil tax bill which she was un­able to pay be­cause the web­site didn’t recog­nise her ref­er­ence num­ber. Phone calls to the coun­cil re­ferred her to the web­site. She was stuck in an end­less loop, and it was also im­pos­si­ble to query the amount, which was sub­se­quently shown to be wrong. She was is­sued with a court sum­mons, then sent let­ters from a debt col­lec­tion ser­vice that were fright­en­ingly in­tim­i­dat­ing. In­ter­est was added to the (in­cor­rect) bill which grew rapidly (Debt col­lec­tors’ let­ters ‘send­ing vul­ner­a­ble to the brink of sui­cide’, 4 De­cem­ber). My hus­band and I dealt with all of this for her. My heart breaks for all those who have no one to help them. The bot­tom line is that the UK is a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment for many, and it shouldn’t be.

Neena Modi


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