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Victims of government computer foul-up get compensation

A whole 10 pounds sterling each, two cheers

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People who faced irate landlords and bank managers after a government computer glitch ‘lost’ benefit payments, were today planning how to spend the £10 they are now being offered as compensation. More than 400,000 people are in line to receive the pay-off following a computer failure at the Contributions Agency left many penniless. The Daily Telegraph today said opposition parties had hailed the announcement as a U-turn by ministers and that it was the first official acknowledgement of the seriousness of the problems faced by the government agency. Baroness Hollis of Heigham, a junior social security minister, last night told fellow peers that the government had decided to relax the rules in favour of the one off £10 gesture. But alert Tories in the upper chamber were keen to point out that the compensation could not be paid out because the computer was not working properly. In keeping with The Register’s desire to tell it like it is, we have come up with a few suggestions on how to dispose of the extra tenner being doled out by the boys and girls in Whitehall. You could buy 10 lottery tickets, or four pints in a pub in London’s West End, or three packets of ciggarettes, or even spend it on a phone card so you can call the Contributions Agency to ask where your benfits are. ®

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