Problems ‘still dog tax credits system’

Difficulties persist with the child and working tax credits system
despite government claims that it is on track, a leading
anti-poverty charity says.

Martin Barnes, director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG),
said that although the system had improved since its chaotic
introduction in April – when payments to at least 800,000 people
were delayed – problems remained for some families.

These included difficulties in having accurate assessments made and
ensuring that the Inland Revenue took the correct information into

Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo told a CPAG conference that 5.8
million families were receiving the credits. The Treasury has set a
target of 6 million by next April.

Barnes said he was “encouraged” by the figures but warned that
families who had experienced delays should not be forgotten. He
called on the Revenue to “look at compensating families for the
hardship they suffered”.

Barnes expressed further concerns that there could be large
underpayments and overpayments of tax credits, partly because some
people will have been assessed on their income two years

He said many people in these situations were unable to notify the
Revenue because of difficulties contacting it. As a result money
was deducted from them at the end of the year – which they might
already have spent – or they might have to manage on less than they
were entitled to.

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