Not that long ago we received a letter from Concentrix a company that we had never heard of before. Concentrix is an outsourced company that are working on behalf of HRMC. The overall aim is to investigate benefit claims and to try to cut how much is payed out in benefits by weeding out those that are either claiming fraudulently or incorrectly.
However the way they go about this isn’t very pleasant as the letters can be rather nasty and they work on a guilty until proven innocent basis which means dealing with them can be described as difficult. The letters ask for numerous bits of sensitive data depending on what they are accusing you off, and to top this off they give you a pretty short amount of time to get the documentation they demand sent to them. When you do this, due to the volume that they are receiving the chances of them even getting them on the system on time is remote let alone looked at. Calling them also often means holding for an hour only to be cut off automatically without ever speaking to a human.
This leads to perfectly innocent people being left without the money they are entitled to and a whole load of stress and aggro.
Fortunately and as we expected our claim was finally sorted and the result fell in our favor.
If you search online for concentrix you’ll find dozens of cases there are even newspaper articles about it
There are plenty of places offering support and advice one such facebook group is called Concentrix Mums which has a lot of friendly and helpful people, Its also worth looking up mumsnet and netmums and of course your local Citizens Advice.
If you get one of these dreaded letters try not to panic and seek advice but most of all dont ignore it. Their is lots of help available and as long as you are claiming what you should things will get sorted.
So it finally seems that like the rest of the UK, England will be getting charged for the use of plastic bags from next year.
The queen in her speech at the opening of Parliament today said:
“The Government will introduce a 5p plastic bag charge in England from October 2015, which it hopes will cut the number of plastic bags used in the country.”
It’s not really that much of a surprise perhaps it’s actually a bigger surprise that it has taken this long seeing as how Wales, Scotland and Northern island have done it for a little while now.
Personally I think that it’s a good thing as plastic bags really are horrible for the environment and they are very difficult to recycle so many end up in landfill and others just end up flying around and when they end up in the environment they cause issues for wildlife as well as just looking horrible hanging off tree’s and bushes or floating in rivers
The idea is that the money raised from this charge does not go back into profits but is donated to charity which means that it doesn’t feel like an extra tax which it so easily could have been.
It does only affect large retailers and smaller stores arent going to be affected which is good news for them. I would kinda hope that they would try to also discourage their use and I know some already do.
From what I have heard from people who life in Wales it does take a little while to get used to but the scheme does cut down on the amount of plastic bags around and it makes people think about using and reusing bags that they have or bags for life.