Friday, 25 October 2013

Blood from a Stone

And so it started ... I am old enough to remember a time when few of us had bank accounts. You got your wages in cash, you paid for your purchases and bills in cash; no cash ... no purchases till the next wage packet came in. But banks and the use of them became more widespread and commonplace. Next,  the government decided that all benefits would be paid directly into bank accounts and so even those of us who lived on the fringes of the economic society ended up with bank accounts. Not through choice and education but through necessity.

Next came the notion of direct debits ... wonderful things really if there are no hiccups and your income keeps dribbling in at a steady pace. It may take a while to figure out how to avoid missed payments, melding up the incomings and the outgoings so that there are no gaps but eventually, you get there. Those expensive bank letters informing you that you have missed a direct debit payment because you have no money in your account stop.

(Just as an aside I always wondered what good it was to charge someone for not having money in their account. So that the next time you have some money it suddenly is reduced because they have written to you to tell you you didn't have any in there. But hey hop ... banks have to make a living I suppose even if it is at the expense of those who haven't one ...)

I've had no income since the 28th of August 2013 thanks to ATOS claiming not to have received a questionnaire I sent them. Over the past couple of days I have had no less then 6 letters from my bank ... Each one putting me further in debt to the bank by £15.00 ... so now I owe the bank a total of £90.00. I am not even thinking about the late payment surcharges I will owe the various utilities - water, gas, electric, telephone.

Cameron, you may have used your sons' payments from disability benefits to pay for his nappies but I need it to live my life. To live it, not luxuriously but just to live it. To pay my bills, to eat something other then cold toast or lukewarm soup. To keep my wheelchair functioning ...