Tackling Government Tax Credit Crackdown
Since the end of August there has been a dramatic increase in the number of single parents contacting me about having their tax credits stopped with little to no explanation from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Often it is not because claimants' circumstances have changed or because my constituents have contacted HMRC, but they get a sudden letter out of the blue saying things have changed when they haven't.
After contacting HMRC parents are given various reasons for their tax credits being stopped. They are being told that are living with tenants who haven't lived in the property for years, in other cases basic information has been changed without request and even copies of birth certificates have been "lost".
The company responsible for the HMRC contract, Concentrix, appears to have suddenly embarked on a flurry of unjustifiable tax credit disqualifications using information obtained from other databases, such as those held by credit reference agencies. This unreliable data is then used to disqualify people on guilty before proven innocent basis.
I do not know why HMRC and Concentrix have suddenly decided to do this over two years into a three year contract, but I do know that the impact on families who rely on this entitlement to make ends meet has been severe. Their behaviour has caused enormous financial hardship and worry to some vulnerable families.
I am glad that Concentrix have been stripped of the contract to administer tax credits. However, I now call on the Government to reinstate people's entitlements and restore the missing payments in full to my constituents immediately.
Read the full Liverpool Echo article here