Humberside

Hull MP call for tax credit check review over stopped payments

Concentrix letter
Image caption US firm Concentrix is contracted by the government to run checks on tax credit claimants

A Hull MP is calling for the government to review the way it carries out tax credit checks following claims that some payments were stopped.

Labour's Karl Turner said he had been contacted by a number of people whose payments stopped due to investigations.

Mr Turner blamed US company Concentrix, which was last year given a government contract to tackle fraud.

Concentrix said "re-evaluation can be difficult" and the government said fraud was at its "lowest level".

The MP described the deal as a "disaster" and said he had received more than 30 complaints from constituents who were sent letters halting their payments while claims were checked.

"People are being left for many, many weeks without any money coming in."

"This is about people who are working hard who are expecting tax credits to come in, rightly, and are being let down by the system."

'Long time'

Mr Turner cited the case of one woman who had her benefits stopped after she received a letter from Concentrix asking her to prove a man named on the electoral roll was not living at the address.

Image caption Karl Turner MP said that more than 30 of his constituents had contacted him after their benefits were stopped

The single-parent, who did not want to be named, told the BBC the man was a previous tenant at the property.

She said it took a "long time" to resolve the investigation by Concentix.

"I've borrowed money to keep myself afloat." she said.

In a statement, Concentrix said: "We appreciate the re-evaluation of individual tax credit claims can be difficult for all concerned.

"When we have made an error we take urgent steps to put things right and we apologise.

"When we have reason to believe something is, or may be, wrong... we write to the claimant to ask for further information to make sure the right money is being paid."

A HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) spokesperson said: "Fraud in the tax credits system has been reduced to its lowest level."

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