Tax credits One in five fail to get money on time

The government has admitted that 800,000 families who applied for
the child and working tax credits had still not received their
money this week.

In an emergency Commons statement earlier this week, paymaster
general Dawn Primarolo apologised to families who had not received
their payments on time.

But she rejected criticisms that the system was a shambles and said
that 700 extra staff had been put on the tax credits helpline to
deal with the large demand. She said four in five of the four
million people who had made claims had received or were about to
receive their money.

She added that everyone who had made a “complete application” would
receive payment by Friday and that arrangements were in place to
make interim payments to people where necessary. Families who opted
to receive the credits weekly were due to receive their first
payments on 6 April, while those who chose the monthly option were
due their first payments on 28 April.

An early day motion calling on the government to resolve the
delayed payments situation and carry out an investigation into how
it occurred was tabled this week by Steve Webb MP, the Liberal
Democrats social security spokesperson.

Meanwhile, David Willetts MP, the shadow work and pensions
secretary, has called on the government to set up an emergency
scheme of social fund loans to reduce the “financial distress”
faced by families who are still waiting for their credits.

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