500 signatures reached
To: Iain Duncan Smith
Review Concentrix and HMRC Investigations of Tax Credit claimants
We want the DWP to review the investigations of tax credit claimants currently being undertaken by concentrix on behalf of HMRC. We have heard many stories of people being put under extraordinary and unnecessary pressure and believe many of these investigations are ineffective so should be stopped.
Why is this important?
We're going to see Iain Duncan Smith next month and we want to take this petition with us with as many names as possible. You may not get why we're so wound up about it. Let me share a few stories (all real, local people). Before I do, lets just remember what tax credits are for. They are contributions from the government towards the cost of ofsted registered childcare so that work is possible. Many users of tax credits are single parents but many are also in couples. They are for people for whom work would not be possible without assistance towards childcare (which by the way has to be paid one month in arrears and is subject to fines for late payment).
One woman was told that her tax credits would stop because her daughter doesn't exist. The fact that said daughter was crying in the background whilst her stressed and bewildered mother was trying to sort it out whilst wondering how she was going to pay for childcare was irrelevant.
Another woman was told that her tax credits would be cut to £85 a month (a contribution towards an £800 childcare bill for 2 children representing well over half of the whole family's take home pay.)This was because concentrix concluded that a previous childcare provider had not been ofsted registered and therefore this lady was in debt to them for falsely claiming help towards childcare that year. Of course the provider had been ofsted registered, we may never know what information concentrix used to reach their conclusion but our member had to shoulder the full responsibility of proving her case, all the while on reduced tax credits and even had to arrange a meeting with her employer to explain that work would not be feasible if she couldn't prove her case. The member is now vindicated but the stress she was wrongly put under was extremely serious and unnecessary.
Another member was subject to a thorough investigation of her circumstances after which concentrix reached the bizarre conclusion that her total childcare costs for 2 children were £4 a week....totally validates any claim that the government and their agencies are out of touch with real life...if such a cheap provider exists I want their details!
I could go on....case after case, story after story - already vulnerable people being made to feel desperate, hopeless and quite frankly criminalised. Please, if you agree with us, sign and share to say this is not OK. Perhaps there's a case to be made for people to be investigated as benefit fraud happens - but the way it is being done is unnecessarily negatively impacting people who could do without it!
How it will be delivered
We will be meeting with Iain Duncan Smith in October to discuss the problem in person. We want to bring the petition with us to demonstrate that others are concerned about the issue even if they can not be present at the meeting