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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Local resident in despair over Work and Pensions Department

August 1, 2008 12:00 AM

PhotographEastbourne pensioner and Willingdon Road resident Barbara Limage has been driven to despair over the Pensions department's ability to constantly lose her paperwork.

Mrs Limage's son, Ken Limage, contacted Lib Dem parliamentary campaigner Stephen Lloyd, to ask if he would be able to help.

Stephen said: "I was staggered to discover when I met Mrs Limage and her son, as they took me through the whole process, just how awful the DWP (Dept of Work and Pensions) have been on this issue."

"I deal with a great deal of casework around pensions and benefits, so am used to this government department losing documents - but they have really surpassed themselves this time. On a scale of sheer incompetence, I award the DWP 10 out of 10."

"Thankfully Ken Limage has been meticulous in keeping records, otherwise it would be hard to believe what he and his mother have been through over the last ten months. Ken has spoken to an incredible 17 different people at the DWP as he's tried to sort his mothers' payment problem. All of whose names he took down and was able to show me but still his mother has not received the benefit payment on her mortgage interest that she is entitled to."

Stephen added: "I will be writing to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell MP, demanding he takes immediate action to sort out Mrs Limage's problem. The utter shambles that appears almost to be the norm at the DWP cannot go on. I have had numerous local residents contact me about this department over the years and it just seems to be getting worse and worse."

Ken Limage said: "I appreciate Stephen trying to sort this mess. Thank heaven my mother has a little money from her savings so she can cope whilst waiting for the DWP to get their act together but imagine what must happen to other pensioners in Eastbourne who are less fortunate. They could, literally, be out in the street if they're unable to keep up with their payments. I think it is an absolute scandal."