Sunderland MP welcomes axing of firm accused of wrongfully stopping tax credits payments

Julie Elliott
Julie Elliott
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A Wearside MP has welcomed news a firm accused of wrongfully cutting tax credit payments has had its contract terminated.

US-based Concentrix was awarded a £75million contract by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to crack down on tax credit fraud and overpayment.

But, after complaints nationwide that payments had been 'erroneously stopped,' HMRC has confirmed that the Concentrix contract will not be extended.

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott said: "In recent weeks I have received a large number of calls and emails from constituents whose tax credits have stopped, causing unnecessary hardship.

"In one case, Concentrix wrongly axed support to a family for four months and refused to reverse the decision to suspend payments until I got involved.

"This constituent, their children and the people of Sunderland in general deserve better than this.”

Cancellation of the contract was 'welcome news,' she said, and added: "We must move to a system which is both fair and administratively efficient when the Concentrix contract ends next May,” she added.

"I am extremely concerned that the people who have contacted me are just a handful of those affected by this and that many more families may be suffering unnecessarily.

"If you live in Sunderland Central and are having problems with your tax credits, please do get in touch and I will do my best to assist you."

The axing of Concentrix was announced by Jon Thompson, chief executive of HMRC, who stated: "We want to reassure customers who have had their tax credits stopped that we will prioritise their cases, and make sure that they are processed as quickly as possible.

"While it’s right that we ensure that tax credits customers only receive the money to which they’re entitled, it is vital that those customers have a high level of service."

MRC is to redeploy 150 staff to help resolve claim issues over claims.