herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Gran's fury at pension-cut letter over just 40c-a-year

A DUBLIN woman received a letter from the Revenue Commissioners to say her pension is being docked -- by 40c a year.

Grandmother-of-nine Ruth Stenson (67) branded the move a "waste of taxpayers' money" -- given that the cost of notifying her was greater than the savings involved.

"I don't know why they bothered doing this," Ms Stenson said. "I looked at it and there is 40c in the difference."

In the letter from the tax office, she was advised her pension was found to have been "overstated".







Crazy

This was because the annual amount had previously been rounded up to the nearest euro.

From now on, she will receive the exact amount due, a difference of 40c a year.

Ms Stenson said the resources spent on processing the letter and the postal cost would far exceed the amount saved.

"I think it's crazy," the Dundrum mother-of-six told the Herald. "I think they're going overboard in writing to us."

Even though the reduction is small, receiving a letter from the Revenue will "scare the wits" out of many elderly people, she added.

"It's a waste of money as far as I'm concerned that they sent the letter to me," she said.

She was one of the 115,000 pensioners who received a letter from tax officials telling them there was a discrepancy in the amount they were receiving.

A spokeswoman for the Revenue said the vast majority of the people affected would lose only a very modest amount, as was the case with Ms Stenson.

She said the process was automated so a letter was sent out whether or not the sum was large or small. "Where there was a difference between what we had on record and what the Department of Social Protection provided us with, a letter went out," the spokeswoman added.

But Ms Stenson said: "It's a scaremongering thing to frighten people. Why go to the trouble of writing to me?"

comurphy@herald.ie

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