Tax credit problems continue, charity claims

A leading anti-poverty charity said that some parents are still
experiencing difficulties with the child and working tax credits
introduced in April, despite government claims that almost six
million families are now receiving payments, writes Amy

Speaking at a Child Poverty Action Group conference, Martin
Barnes, director of the organisation, said that problems still
persist for some families although he admitted these are becoming
less frequent.

“Advisers are still finding people are having difficulties but
these are getting lower,” he said. He explained these included
problems in getting correct assessments made, and ensuring that the
Inland Revenue takes the correct information into account.

Also speaking at the conference, paymaster general Dawn
Primarolo, said that 5.8 million families are now receiving the
credits out of the six million target the Treasury is attempting to
reach within a year of their introduction.

Barnes said that although he was “encouraged” by the minister’s
claim families who had experienced delays should not be forgotten.
“The revenue must look at compensating families for the hardship
they suffered,” he said.

He went on to call for the government to increase the credits in
the next budget warning that independent studies show this is
essential in order for the government to reduce child poverty by a
quarter by 2004-5, meeting their target.

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