Wednesday, 26 October 2016 13:23

MHAIRI BLACK: UK Government Must Accept Responsibility For Tax Credit Fiasco

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The Scottish National Party will today (Wednesday) call on the UK Government to apologise to the hundreds of thousands of low and middle income families who have been accused of tax fraud or had their tax credits cancelled by Concentrix.

HMRC employed Concentrix to identify cases of benefit fraud on a results-only basis and SNP MPs have consistently called for the UK Government to stop the unethical practice of indiscriminately sending letters to low income families and accusing them of committing fraud before cutting off benefits without any warning.
 
SNP MP Mhairi Black said:
 
“Concentrix certainly have questions to answer over this calamity but the buck stops with this Tory Government who employed Concentrix on a results-only basis to indiscriminately target low and middle income families relying on tax credits to make ends meet.
 
“The sheer fact that the Tories are so keen to pursue this practice of targeting low income families where there is little evidence of tax fraud and for relatively small amounts rather than clamping down on aggressive corporate tax avoidance betrays where their priorities really lie.
 
“Constituents up and down the country have suffered real hardship as a result of this shameful treatment at the hands of the UK Government and the Tories must apologise for the agony and stress this has caused.  
 
“Many people have been forced into debt because of the length of time taken by HMRC to reinstate wrongly cancelled tax credits and the cost of querying decisions made by Concentrix – the UK Government must remove the financial barriers to justice by scrapping the cost of querying a decision and reimburse the families who have had their tax credits removed incorrectly.
 
“The Tories’ inability to resolve this issue shows a fundamental lack of competence as well as a lack of compassion. HMRC must urgently demonstrate they are fully committed to paying all of the tax credits due to claimants, who have already suffered enough.
 
“The UK Government must accept responsibility for this utter shambles and the SNP will now push the UK Government to introduce legislation to ensure that this can never be allowed to happen again.”