“What Is The Nature Of Your Business?”
It’s the morning after the night before and still feel very wobbly. After spending six and a half hours trying to respond to the threats from HMRC, I fell into bed at 10pm and didn’t wake up until Steven woke me this morning at 6am.
No clients this morning until 11 but I’d agreed with the support worker that I’d get away as early as possible and try and get some sleep before work. Then realised I’d forgotten today’s task. I needed to phone the housing department and have an initial telephone assessment to kick-start Steven’s rehousing. Thankfully, I’ve got the excellent Jayne Knight acting as advocate and she’s already done a lot of leg work but this next step could only be done by me. I was on hold for 35 minutes but that wasn’t too bad as it gave me the chance to hear a wonderful episode of Desert Island Discs with Tom Hanks. The assessment took about 25 minutes, so all in all, another hour gone. It sounds like another laborious process as the next step is for a housing manager to call me back within 48 hours for a more extensive interview.
So, I got to totting up the time spent just in the last seven days on the business of being Steven’s carer. None of this is generated by Steven of course but by the bureaucratic planet we inhabit.
- Last Thursday. Three hours sorting out the LA’s decision to charge Steven for his care. Eventual outcome = charges wiped out.
- Tuesday. An hour sorting out the medication as the prescription was a week late arriving at the chemist.
- Wednesday. Two hours in the building society setting up new bank accounts to appease the OPG.
- Yesterday. One hour back at the bank to arrange the “switching” of accounts.
- Yesterday. Six and a half hours trying to convince HMRC that I don’t owe £6640+ in employee’s tax.
- Today. One hour trying to ensure Steven has a home after his current one is demolished.
Add to that, the normal weekly tasks like the hour spent on Monday doing this week’s payroll and the 30 minute phone call to the direct payments team to tell them they’d sent me an encrypted email I cannot read.
There’s one question HMRC always ask whenever I have to phone them about the Personal Budget tax. “What is the nature of your business?”. I want to answer, ” Interminable shit is the nature of my business”.
This stuff is my business. This week, I have spent more time on sorting out shit, than I actually have working. I’ve spent more time up to my elbows in bureaucratic nonsense than I have being and doing things with Steven.
This is my life and this is how it reads.
Update 14th May
I posted my latest complaint on the way to work yesterday morning. And then out of the blue, I got a phone call from a Complaints Manager late in the afternoon. For the first time, I got the sense I was talking to someone who knew what he was talking about. The chap apologised profusely and confirmed what I suspected – someone had been reading the quarterly figures I’d submitted as monthly figures! I asked him why, whoever I speak to, they insist I submit returns monthly when they only send me quarterly returns to submit. He came out with the killer: ” Most of the people you speak to on the employers helpline won’t have heard of the carers scheme and the special rules and exemptions and will treat you the same way as someone running a business”.
There we go. To the people who have written to me telling me how to run the payroll better, I can cope with running payroll. What I can’t cope with is HMRC officials who don’t know how their own schemes work, expecting me to correct errors that don’t exist.
From → Social Care