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THAMES VALLEY have a trial - of sorts! TVP wanted to do a trial, with funding provided by the Force, but the Home Office had to approve it. Of course with Home Office incompetence that took over a year. [TVP kept asking the HO whether they had approved the trial scheme and the HO kept on saying - any time now - be patient. Then TVP phoned the HO and said OK whats happening. The HO said yes that has been approved, the papers will be in the post. TVP announced the scheme set a schedule - but the HO papers didnt turn up. SO TVP went back the the HO and said - hey where are the papers? THe HO said - oh thats not approved yet! TVP said - but you said it was - the HO reply was opps sorry we were thinking about somethign else when you asked. Anyway - eventually the HO managed to say yes. It only took a year - which is really fast for the HO - lightning speed for anything to do with Specials. Have I got in in for the HO - well not really - I just speak as I find. About five years ago I met two HO officials - they were late. When they arrived they said sorry we are late - but what do you care, I suppose you are on overtime now! IT took 3 hours to educate and persuade Home Office Spcial Conbstabulary staff that Specials were not paid!!!!!! TVP BOUNTY SCHEME By the time the HO introduced it it was very very late. Egg on faces all the way around. Introduction was rushed through with indecent haste, so we have a scheme that is doomed to failure and will alientate all Specials. A few of the rules are: The bounty is Â£950 - couldn't be Â£1,000 because that was what regulars were getting for living in a high cost area (to stop them defecting to the Met). The trial is on one Area Thames Forest The bounty will be paid if it is claimed TVP finance will pay the bounty subtracting standard rate tax. Anyone not on standard rate tax will have to sort their individual case out with the tax office. If that mans going to self assessment - tough. The bounty will be considered if Specials are receiving any benefits. ie it will be treated as income and their benefit may be reduced - because they have 'earned the income of Â£950" If a Special decided NOT to claim the bounty - their benefits will still be affected , because the government have decreed that the "income of Â£950" was available to them whether or not they bothered to claim it - so their benefits will be reduced accordingly If a Special does not meet the conditions making them elligible for the bounty - ie attending training, performing community police duties etc they don't get it. Nobody has established what happens to that Special, it is expected that the benefits agency will say you are a Specials - you got or had the chance of getting Â£950 bounty, so we are reducing your benefit. It seems as though it will be left to each individual Special to battle the beurocracy of the benfits system and to prove that they didnt get the bounty and were not entitled to claim it, so there benefits are unaffected. At the moment Specials get Â£30 a year boot allowance if they do their minimum 208 hours duty a year. That is tax free! Whoopie - who can get a pair of boots for Â£30, but good on TVP for pressing for that to be tax free. UNFORTUNATELY - the tax office have decreed that if Specials get the bounty, the bounty will be taxable and so will any other benefits including the boot allowance! I could go on - but the TVP system is a joke (a bad joke) imposed on Specials, partly due to incompetence at the Home Office and partly due to a serious lack of invetigation and planning by TVP. I would be interested to hear what other Forces are doing and if they are or will fall into the tax problems. PS we proposed that instead of bounties - the government could give Specials a 'discount' on their income tax rate. EG 2% below the level they should be, that mmeans that specials bounty will be comensurate with the income lost by being a specials. The higher your pay the more you get out of it, but it would be in proportion to your salary! There are a few problems with that but - the government could impose that by the first of next month if they wanted to!