Spare a thought for the three temporary workers sacked by Ealing Council as a result of payments made to a landlord under the Housing Benefit rules on behalf of a tenant.
The rent paid out by the council amounted to £12,000 a month, when similar properties in the locality of Acton were going for around £4,000 a month.
The action was said to have been endorsed by senior members of the department.
It stands to reason that when market evidence is used from more expensive areas such as Mayfair, Holland Park and Notting Hill, the average rent in the private lettings market will throw up a much lower figure for Acton.
To make payment on the basis that Acton can be compared with the other three localities is plainly a nonsense.
Resulting from this failure of management I would expect to see those responsible at a senior level to be seen to be quitting their employment.
One has also to bear in mind that Ealing Council is known to pay senior staff in its employ more than that paid to Government ministers.
The public are baffled by this preposterous situation, when so much publicity is given over to housing benefit fraud that public money can be paid out in such a negligent fashion.
Housing benefit payment is there to provide support to those who are unable to find employment or are unable to work.
It was never intended that it would provide for claimants to live in the most expensive properties, the rent for which - had they been working - they would be unable to cover out of their own pockets.