The randomness of the National Insurance system…

The story so far – back in Nov/Dec last year, I get a letter out of the blue from the National Insurance people asking for £900 or they’re going to cut my balls off. Or something like that. I was given 28 days to pay and the letter threatened court action.

I rang them up, said ‘er, what the hell is this?’ to which the girl on the other end of the phone says ‘oh, don’t worry about that, it’s not compulsory to pay it before then, and no there won’t be any court action. Just pay some off when you can.’ me says, ‘so why the hell are you trying to scare me with this letter???’ she says, ‘it’s just a formality’.

What a marvellous euphamism, formality.

Anyway, fast forward to about a week ago and I get another letter saying ‘pay up or we’re sending the heavies round’, with a letter in it explaining about the process of having money taken off you through the county court!! WTF??? This people are mad.

So, methinks, I’ll go and pay some of it off online… er, website? nope. Sorry, no payments online.

This morning I phone the number.

‘hello, I’d like to pay a couple of hundred quid of what I owe’.
‘how about £312.45?’
‘er, no, just £200, thanks’.
‘we can’t do that. Can you pay £312.45 monthly?’
‘of course not.’
‘how much can you pay monthly?’
‘well, like I said, I’m happy to pay £200 now, and then maybe £100 a month til the debt’s gone’.
‘how about £152.31?’
‘well, that’s a fabulously random figure, but I guess that would be OK’
‘right, the first one will be a month from today, I’ll send out about 76 letters before then, confirming everything in writing 9 times, wasting a tree and a half, and ignoring the fact that you’re offering to pay £200 now.’
‘er, OK’.

So I didn’t get to pay £200. Instead, I have to pay some random amount in about a month’s time, after my postman dies under the weight of spurious letters from the Inland Revenue.

Given that it’s basically the same thing as tax, why the hell can’t I get online and pay it??? Why isn’t there a bank-transfer number or something? Then I’d just pay it off when I’ve got the spare cash…

In case you’re thinking ‘well, you ran up the debt, you should pay it all now’, they hadn’t EVER contacted me about paying this, I’ve ever seen it mentioned on a tax bill, never had a phonecall or a letter about it, until the one asking for £900. So it’s not my fault at all, you hard-nosed bastards.

One Reply to “The randomness of the National Insurance system…”

  1. That’s weird…. I’m sure the IR asked me to backpay some national insurance a couple of years ago and not only could I pay it by direct transfer, but the account I had to pay it into was one of the automatic presets on my internet banking payee list. Maybe they felt it was being overly helpful…

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