Government relentlessly chasing down overpayments to unpaid carers gives nonchalant shrug in direction of £200m given to Michelle Mone

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In a further resolute display of fiscal responsibility, the UK government is continuing its unwavering pursuit of carers who were overpaid by a few pounds in their Carer’s Allowance, while giving a nonchalant shrug in the general direction of Tory peer Michelle Mone, who is sitting pretty on a cool £200 million from a less-than-spotless PPE deal.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in a recent statement delivered from atop a very high horse, explained, “We are committed to clawing back every penny of overpayment to ensure fairness in the system and value for the taxpayer.

“Yes, that includes the £81.90 that Mrs Ethel Harris of the Cotswolds accidentally received last year because she forgot to declare that single extra shift she did in the coffee shop when Deidre was ill, which took her over the earnings threshold.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world on her new yacht, Baroness Mone is reportedly using her £200 million PPE fortune as a makeshift yoga mat. A sum given to her in a deal that government officials still describe as “perfectly normal in extraordinary times”.

The deal, which in the NHS was supplied with PPE that would struggle to keep a toddler clean during craft time, never mind frontline health workers safe during a pandemic, remains a touchy subject.

“Look, you have to understand, there are overpayments, and then there are overpayments,” explained a government spokesperson, juggling two sets of scales – one gold, one… not so much.

“When it comes to recovering funds, we prioritise by amount – which is to say the smallest first, naturally. It’s just easier to pick on, I mean, pick out the little discrepancies.

“Ask yourself which is easier: spending all the time and money required to chase thousands of working-class people for sums ranging from £80 to a couple of thousand pounds, for a grand total of £100m in overpayments over five years – OR chasing one single Tory peer for £200m in overpayments given to her in a single month?”

Critics have argued that this approach might seem a tad unbalanced, but officials were quick to clarify their stance with a robust, “No, it’s not. Shut up.”

As for the carers, many have vowed to continue their work undeterred, providing essential care for loved ones and meticulously reporting every penny—just in case it nudges them into the ‘overpayment’ bracket.

At the same time, Baroness Mone has not been available for comment, presumably busy attending to the arduous task of counting her ‘blessings’ – with ‘blessings’ being the name she has given the large piles of taxpayer cash she still has in her possession.

“Remember, folks,” concluded the government spokesperson, “austerity is for the poor, not the peers.”