Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dealing with tax credit complaints costs over £6 million a year?

I always knew that that the tax credit system was in a bit of mess, but I have to admit I was staggered to learn that the cost of just handling complaints is over £6 million each year. It seems the Treasury don't actually know the exact figure, but the Treasury minister, Jane Kennedy, said in Parliament that the "cost of dealing with complaints in the Tax Credit Office between 1 November 2006 and 31 October 2007 was around £6.5 million".

If you're wondering why it's not an exact figure that is because "it is not possible to provide costs for other areas of HMRC that might also handle complaints relating to tax credits". So basically the Treasury thinks it might be even more. That's an incompetent system, and incompetent accounting of how much the mess is costing all thrown into one!


cassander said...

Do you think that's a lot? It sounds suspiciously low to me. I'd say that's 80-100 civil servants full-time - considering how many recipients of tax credits there are (10-15 million or so?), and how hopelessly ill thought-out and administered the system is, that sounds way too few!

Quiet_Man said...

I'm still not sure at earning £32k with only one kid to support how I qualify for tax credits. That governments get it wrong is a given, but surely the whole thing is some sort of scam to make me vote for them?

Anonymous said...

It seems an incredibly low figure. If you think that MPs must spend at least a quarter of their working time on dealing with tax credit problems and how how much they cost then 6 million is a bit of a joke. No wonder the system is so slow and useless!