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Do you all remember when if you had a franchise you had to have a designated and trained welfare officer, can't remember the title. It was one of the few whizzo ideas that made sense; many problems and therefore costs to the public arise from benefits problems. A few green form letters or calls could keep a family housed, negotiate a debt repayment preventing bankruptcy or Country Court proceedings. I'd call up the local authority and say " hey mate, hold these repossession proceedings will you,while you housing benefits people catch up?" " Yes mate". Done loads of pain and public funds saved. Simple. Debt, housing, general benefits problems sorted...simples. Of course as a fat-cat legal aid lawyer I did charge a maximum of £90, usually less. So they took that away from us and I cancelled my CPAG manuals. I turned clients away knowing that I could help but wouldn't get paid. If I did it pro-bono I had to open a "proper" file available for audit. No more Mr Nice Guy, no more someone the disadvantaged could come to.

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