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article imageDWP sends three letters demanding payment of 1p debt

By Mathew Wace Peck     Nov 30, 2010 in Politics
Nottingham - Britain's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued three separate demands to a Nottingham man who is alleged to owe them just one penny.
Stuart Garfield was warned by the DWP that he could face financial consequences if he didn’t pay up.
Speaking to the Nottingham Post about the letters, Garfield told the paper: “I thought they were having a laugh at first. I went to the Jobcentre Plus straight away but they told me not to worry about it. They all thought it was quite funny. But then I got another letter.”
Garfield, a former chef, believes he may have incurred the 1-pence debt after receiving an Adviser Discretion Fund grant for work clothing – which he was awarded after losing his job at Fellows Morton & Clayton pub.
After receiving the first letter, he attended his local Jobcentre Plus, where staff told him that there was nothing to worry about. However, Garfield received two further letters – on 15 November and 22 November. The letters read:
On September 15 you were informed that you had been overpaid Adviser Discretion Fund amounting to £0.01. You have not repaid this amount and I now request payment immediately.
Cheques should be made payable to the Department of Work and Pensions and forwarded to this office. Until you repay this overpayment no future awards of Adviser Discretion Fund or Travel to Interview Scheme will be made.
The Nottingham Post have contacted the DWP, and a spokesperson for the government department, which is headed by Iain Duncan Smith, MP, replied: “We apologise to Mr Garfield for any inconvenience caused. Our records have been amended to ensure that no further computer-generated correspondence can be issued regarding this matter.”
More about Dwp, Department work pensions, Ian duncan smith, Jobcentre plus, Stuart garfield
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