Government privatised tax credit fraud

25_february_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,011

Wednesday 25 February 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

I had a visit today from someone whose job involves administratively helping me move house. In our wider conversation she described herself as a single parent, hard working, Mum who has had her tax credits stopped due to an alleged over-payment.

First off, it is a despicable insult that people now feel compelled to qualify their working status as ‘hard working’, a sobriquet forced on them by you and your government in your deceitful and relentless attacks on the lives of ordinary people. After all, what does ‘hard working’ mean other than as a vacuous undefined and therefore meaningless put-down on everyone?

She went on to tell me that she has been put in the position of being unable to afford to live, tax credits were her lifeline in a world in which, for ever increasing numbers of people, work doesn’t pay.

I briefly told her about my campaign of a letter a day to give some context to explaining to her that I could almost guarantee that the over-payment claim was bogus and that it was worth fighting it. The outsourcing of its fraud and error detection by HM Revenue and Customs to Concentrix, a company who get paid by results, that is, if they cut the tax-credit bill, is and always will be a recipe for disaster for claimants, but then it’s all of a piece with your governments vindictive campaign of benefits denial.

I would like to draw your attention to the urgent questioning of Iain Duncan Smith in the House of Commons regarding Universal Credit on 10th December 2013 in which he claimed, “There is no money lost to fraud, error and overpayment under the universal credit system”. Perhaps you’d like to ask him to explain why, then, thousands of people on low incomes are now being sent letters by Concentrix accusing them of cheating on their tax credits and warning them that they may have their benefits stopped.

According to the Independent newspaper: “Staff working at Concentrix have told The Independent that they are under pressure to open between 40 and 50 new tax-credit investigations every day and often don’t have time to check whether the allegations they are making stack up. Meanwhile, worried claimants have been taking to internet message forums to ask for advice for dealing with the false allegations being made against them.”

Something indeed doesn’t stack up, it just so happens that it is you and your government hell bent, as you are, on wrecking the lives of ordinary people.

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