Thursday, July 13, 2017

HM Revenue and Customs: My Self-Assessment address has been updated by HMRC without my authority and Declan has just been informed by Newham Council that our Housing Benefit may be suspended as a result (WITH DOUBLE UPDATE 14/7/2017)

Re: Internet cuts since 26 May 2017

From my earlier blog post's Update 14 July (9.16am):

"And it's not just Facebook blocks, blocks on public access to our Church and State website and the daily targeting to fluctuating degrees of category pages throughout the site that Declan and I are dealing with these days. We have also been dealing with Internet cuts since 26 May. See my blog post of 21 June, Internet cuts: We pay £65 per month for BT Infinity but feel we are in a race against time to stay online (WITH UPDATE 14/7/2017 RE: 61st Internet cut since 26 May 2017)."

We had to suspend work on our Church and State website on 15 June after 4 internet cuts in one night. 4 internet cuts on 25 June; a record-breaking 6 cuts on 6 July; 4 cuts on 12 July; none since midnight today (as of 14 July at 9.16am).

The War on Free Expression

It is our narrative going forward that we are being harassed even by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). In my previous blog post, I published my Tier 1 complaint against HMRC after I discovered a stop on my mail (see their note in bold in the first snapshot above). I told them that my address had not changed since 17 May 2014 and therefore did not require updating. I also informed them that such an update could result in the suspension of our Housing Benefit; the last two times Declan has had to update his address with HMRC, Newham Council wrote that they suspended our Housing Benefit because the Department for Work and Pensions notified them that our address had changed. Nonethless, HMRC have gone and updated my address without my authority (see the second snapshot above). It remains to be seen what, if any, effect this email of mine to HMRC CEO Jon Thompson will have on matters:

For the attention of Chris Boylett, Head of Newham Benefits Service, Newham Council

Jon Thompson
Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary
HM Revenue and Customs

Address removed for email

13 July 2017

Tax Reference [number removed]
Housing Benefit Reference [number removed]

Dear Mr Thompson,

Newham Benefits Service (NBS) has confirmed that my husband's Housing Benefit may be suspended as a result of an unauthorised updating of my address by HMRC on 11 July 2017. Please find attached an ACR recording of his phone call to NBS this morning.

Please would you provide me with a letter stating that HMRC will not update my address again without my authorisation. As stated in my Tier 1 complaint below, my home address has not changed since 17 May 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Maria Dolores Heavey
UTR: [number removed]

M: 0788 043 7681

UPDATE 14 July (10.57am): This morning Declan wrote directly to Head of Newham Benefits Service Chris Boylett for assurance that our Housing Benefit will not be suspended. We think it unlikely that HMRC will provide us with a letter stating that they will not update my address again without my authorisation. This means that we are looking at having to go through their complaints process (Tier 1, Tier 2 and Independent Adjudicator), and then make a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman; that is, if we decide not to complain to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about serious staff misconduct involving criminal or near criminal behaviour; see my blog post of 29 November 2016, Will it take the Independent Police Complaints Commission to protect our address with HM Revenue and Customs? (WITH UPDATE 22/12/2016).

Dear Mr Boylett,

I refer to my wife's email to HMRC CEO Jon Thompson as below.

Please could you provide me with assurance that Newham Benefits Service will not suspend my Housing Benefit as a result of the unauthorised updating of my wife's address by HMRC on 11 July 2017.

I can confirm that my address has not changed. It has been effective from 17 May 2014, not 11 July 2017.

Yours sincerely,

Declan Heavey
Managing Director
Network for Church Monitoring

UPDATE 14 July (11.42am): Declan has just phoned Newham Benefits Service (NBS). He was told that his email to Chris Boylett above has been received and that our Housing Benefit "is still open"; there was no assurance, though, that it won't be suspended. Still no response from HMRC to my Tier 1 complaint dated 9 July, two days before they went and updated my address without my authority; see my previous blog post of 9 July, We're back again to HM Revenue and Customs: Is it the intention of HMRC to harass me to have their stop on my mail removed? (WITH DOUBLE UPDATE 10/7/2017).

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Re: Investigatory Powers Tribunal

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) dismissed Declan's complaint against the secret services on papers in less than three weeks, on 1 September 2011, stating that it was "obviously unsustainable". This is paragraph 11 of Declan's updated complaint to the United Nations under Article 19 (freedom of expression) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

11. The IPT was created in October 2000 by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and given the power to investigate any complaints against GCHQ, MI5 or MI6, as well as complaints about surveillance operations mounted by the police or any other public bodies. On 5 March 2014 the Guardian reported that the tribunal, which claims to be completely independent of the UK Government, is secretly operating from a base within the Home Office, by which it is funded. The newspaper found that the IPT had investigated about 1,500 complaints, and upheld only 10; five of these concerned members of one family who had all lodged complaints about surveillance by their local council. No complaint against any of the intelligence agencies had ever been upheld. The discovery that the IPT is lodged within a Whitehall department fuelled criticisms of the tribunal that had been levelled by rights groups, lawyers and complainants. The IPT's critics complain that the secrecy is excessive and that its procedures are stacked so heavily in favour of the government and against complainants that it is fundamentally unfair. According to the Guardian, some senior lawyers have described the IPT as "Kafkaesque", while one eminent barrister has dismissed it as "a kangaroo court". The newspaper also reports that as a consequence of the secrecy surrounding the tribunal and the perception that it is unfair, many would-be complainants spurn it.

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From My Picks:

9 June: Ministry of Justice: Complaint to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice against the County Court at Central London, Royal Courts of Justice (WITH UPDATE - Day 13 21/6/2017)

'Let me recommend an important web site Operating out of London this well-designed and exciting web site covers church-state, population, climate change and other issues. Check it out.' - Edd Doerr, President, Americans for Religious Liberty