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Delays to housing benefit payments lead to compensation pay out

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Outsourcing and services giant EDS has agreed to compensate a UK local authority following a series of blunders. EDS has been running housing benefit payments on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames since last year. The system fell into near collapse earlier this year with delays in payments becoming so protracted that some private sector landlords started refusing to take tenants who were in receipt of benefits. EDS has pledged to pay an undisclosed sum into a fund which will be used to pay voluntary organisations, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, which have been overrun with calls for help as a result of late payment. Some councillors within Kingston have been calling for EDS to have its contract taken away from it, but no decision has yet been made. ®

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