Wednesday, May 04, 2005


I have just finished filling out my expenses claim for last month, the first under the new regime of Her Majesty's Courts Service, for which the civil servants have devised a brand new form. This form covers four sides of A4, as opposed to the previous single side, it contains logical inconsistencies that make it a matter of guesswork to fill it in properly. The instructions for completing the form run to six sides of A4! In addition it cannot be filed electronically, as many of us have been doing for years. Claims have to be made each month, whereas many magistrates who do not sit too often only claim every few months.

Result: thirty thousand magistrates whose reactions range from furious through irritated to a shrug.

Before anyone asks, the expenses I can claim are travel (car mileage or train fares) and a small subsistence allowance of about £6.50 per day.

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