The SNP is calling 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.
North Ayrshire & Arran MP Patricia Gibson said:
“Concentrix certainly have questions to answer over this calamity but the buck stops with the UK Tory Government which employed them on a results-only basis to indiscriminately target low and middle income families relying on tax credits to make ends meet.
“The fact that the Tories are so keen to pursue this practice for relatively small amounts where there is little evidence of tax fraud rather than clamp down on aggressive corporate tax avoidance betrays where their priorities really lie.
“Some of my constituents have suffered real hardship as a result of this shameful treatment and the Tories must apologise for the distress and financial difficulties they have 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. Financial barriers to justice must be removed by scrapping the cost of querying a decision and reimbursing those families which 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.
The SNP will now push the UK Government to introduce legislation that will ensure this can never happen again.”