Saturday, September 03, 2005

Getting a National Insurance Number - Very difficult

You would think this would be relatively easy to do, simply because it means the person who has the number will then be paying tax and national insurance to the government, filling their coffers up, instead of working on the black market or not working at all.

Well let me tell you that to get a national insurance number in this country is nigh on impossible.

I know of a person who has spent all week trying to get one, and is looking to work in this country and wants to be working officially, paying tax, NI, etc, being above board in all ways.

Firstly they have to ring a number, when they finally got through, as the line was either engaged or no one could be bothered to answer, they then got told to ring another number. After trying for a day to get through, they managed some success and got through, only to be told to ring a third number. They then set about ringing that third number which was engaged for 3 days, 3 days I tell you, no matter how hard they tried or even I tried when assisting them, neither of us could get through, that is how crap it is.

So being the ever resourceful person, this person is, they decided to see if they could get around the problem on my suggestion by going to the local jobcentre as this would have to be where they would have the appointment/interview for the national insurance number. The local jobcentre proceed to tell them that they have to ring a number and get an appointment, which was already known, after explaining that they have spent days trying to get through, they are told, sorry we can’t help that, and only on insistence by this resourceful person did they get the address of the jobcentre where they will have to have the interview/appointment when they are fortunate enough to get through, if ever. It isn’t local, it is a good way away, why it isn’t being done local I don’t know, though there is a rumour they are closing the ones that are local to the person, mmmm, that seems clever, and all because they are moving everything possible to call centres, see other blog entries for more details.

None of which takes into account the problems one has in getting through, and it also assumes that each person can hear on the phone and can get through a long phone call. I am just one person who struggles on a phone, so how in hell would I be lucky enough to get anything now, typical really that this government is making sure that anyone who needs anything they are being shut out of their entitlement.

Anyway back to the main thrust of this blog entry. The person still doesn’t have an appointment, is still unable to get through on the phones, and is getting more and more distressed and frustrated at what is quite simply a bloody farce. We should be encouraging people to have NI numbers so that we get them to pay tax and NI, it should be of paramount importance. These people can’t claim for 2 years at least, so what are the government worried about, what running out of numbers to give people, come on, that can’t be it, and I have to wonder what it could be.

Any European who wants to work in the UK and their country is a member of the EU is allowed to work here, and should be encouraged to do so, especially if they are intending to be above board and be 100% legit, pay taxes, NI, etc. So why is our totally inept government wanting to ensure that these Europeans go through a process which isn’t easy, where they could be led around the houses and still end up where they started. There is no way for them to complain, trust me I looked on the DWP, JobCentrePlus and even HM Customs and Revenue sites to try and do so, not a damn thing, so basically they are untouchable, unaccountable, and worst of all letting money disappear by the sheer ineptness of this.

It isn’t difficult to do, to issue an NI number, it is I believe computer generated based on date of birth, name, place, etc, so it takes what, 5 minutes to do, not exactly a taxing job, and not exactly rocket science. My guess is that they have just one person manning the phone for the whole country, and that is it, either that or they simply take them off the hook when they get to work and pretend they are doing something.

Once I find whom to complain to, I will be passing the information on to the person and thus they can make a complaint, as this is simply unacceptable in this day and age to be unable to get through and to have spent 5 days ringing a line, and still have no joy. Bring me the head of David Blunkett as it is his job as the minister for the DWP to ensure these cock-ups don’t occur.


Vero said...

As a Canadian who moved to the UK fully legitimately, planning on doing everything by the book, I was shocked to see how long it would take before I received my NI card.

I must have worked for at least 4 months on a temporary NI number before my card came through the mail.

I've truly enjoyed living in this country so far, but certain things about it still puzzle and amaze me, like the resistance against a National ID card. I don't agree with cards having to be paid for directly, but having an approved piece of ID for all adults would most likely limit NHS fraud and ease the pains of the NI offices.

Speakers Corner said...

Well I am hoping my friend doesn't have to wait 4 months for the NI card.

They have had the interview and will find out in 4-6 weeks whether they are successful or not, this despite being a member of the EU and totally entitled to work here.

The resistance to ID cards is simply down to us not trusting our government with any information it holds, it is well known they have a habit of losing it, and it isn't difficult for them also to put information on there they shouldn't. Basically a complete and utter distrust of governmental bodies is very common.

Hayfax_Jo said...

Goodness - my other half, a US citizen, is trying to get an NI number at the moment, as she needs it to get a bank account. Her work are no help at all in even getting her a temporary one, so goodness knows how this will pan out. I'm not even sure I'm reassured to know that other people are going through the same problems!



Speakers Corner said...

Hi Hayfax_jo,

Sorry to hear your partner is having so much trouble in getting an NI number, but if memory serves me right, they should be issued with a temporary NI number when they start working, because they have to pay NI stamps, so does their company when they work. A temporary NI number if I recall is usually TN and date of birth, though this may have changed.
I would advise your partner to push their workplace, because they could be losing out on NI contributions which go towards their pension, benefits, etc.

Anonymous said...

I searched online and found the URL that says
"You should apply for a National Insurance number through your local Jobcentre Plus office, Jobcentre or social security off"

I Visited the nearest job centre plus to apply for NI ... The security guard at gate told me (as the half of office closed for maintenance) "if you want to apply NI number please ring on this number we dont do any NI number".
and after that its almost third month I am ringing on the number and always busy when ever i tried lol

Anonymous said...

The reason the gevernment makes getting an NI number that hard is because if you don't have a ni number the government can charge you emergency tax. The tax code you then get is BR. The other reason is that people who are on 2 year working holiday visas cannot claim back their tax if they do not have a NI number. So they make it impossible for us to get one.

Anonymous said...

Use this number: 0845 6000 643

It is the NI appointment booking number which I rang at 11.30am on a Friday and got through first time, waited on hold for maybe a minute and then talked to a consultant who booked an interview for me straight away, taking maybe another 5 minutes.

Dead easy.

Daniel said...

I am absolutly frustrated with this
i have no identifcation i dont have my birth certificate it got burnt in a house fire when i was younger i have no passport no medical card nothing i am british born i have lived in the UK all my intire life and i dont have one i am 18 years old and i still dont have one i want to apply for a job but i have no ni number i phone the DWP up and they say they cant give me it because i need id HOW THE F**K DO I GET ID IF I DONT HAVE ANY ID TO GET IT WITH this is whats so f**king frustrating about theses people i rely on my mother for money to get around shes doesnt have money to keep giving me all the time what makes me laugh is that you see on the news about all theses people coming over getting setup with things to get jobs this is f**king bull shit the goverment need to f**king help there own people