Just hours after Slough’s MP Fiona Mactaggart successfully persuaded the House of Commons business committee to table a debate on the performance of Concentrix, (the company which has been employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check tax credits entitlement) their contract was ended.
Fiona Mactaggart said “I called for a debate because this company has bullied people who depend on tax credits, they target single mothers many of whom have had their tax credits stopped without notice. The company has been paid by results, which means they have a financial incentive to stop payments; their decisions are frequently made on the basis of wrong information; people who depend on tax credits to make ends meet are left without funds for weeks while the error gets corrected. I was especially worried about people who may not know that if they contact an MP or advice centre wrong decisions can be overturned. HMRC have at last realised that the way the company were pursuing people was inefficient and unfair and have made a U turn… I am glad that pressure from me and other MPs has led the tax authorities to rethink their approach”
HMRC’s Chief Executive, Jon Thompson, said:
“We want to reassure customers who have had their tax credits stopped that we will prioritise their cases, and make sure that they are processed as quickly as possible.
“While it’s right that we ensure that tax credits customers only receive the money to which they’re entitled, it is vital that those customers have a high level of service.
“That’s why we have decided not to extend our contract with Concentrix and HMRC is redeploying 150 staff so that customers can get through to advisers and resolve any issues about their claim.”