Gingerbread responds to findings of investigation into contract between HMRC and Concentrix, which failed to help single parents entitled to child maintenance
The National Audit Office (NAO) report into the contract between HMRC and Concentrix is a litany of failure on both sides which led to extreme hardship for many single parent families over many months.
- Thousands of parents faced delays of an average of six to eight weeks between their tax credits being wrongly stopped and later being reinstated.
- Compared to a predicted £1 billion, this contract actually delivered savings to the taxpayer of just £193 million, less than one fifth of the original estimate.
- In July 2015 Concentrix were answering less than five per cent of calls within five minutes compared to a target of 90 per cent.
- Almost a third of decisions to stop or amend tax credits were later overturned.
Dalia Ben-Galim, Director of Policy, Advice and Communications at Gingerbread, said:
“The price of the failure of this contract has been paid by tens of thousands of single parents across the country.
“Many had money wrongly taken from their weekly budgets, faced months of delays in dealing with their claims and phone calls and letters were left unanswered. This left parents in limbo with no way of planning their household budgets in the longer term and living hand to mouth in the short term often without enough money to feed their children.
“The laudable aim of reducing errors and fraud in the system whilst protecting those in genuine need has failed comprehensively on both counts.
“HMRC must learn the lessons from this report and ensure that this is not allowed to happen again.”