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Andrew Simpson hits out at Government's Disgraceful Tax Credit Record

May 23, 2007 10:30 PM

Gordon BrownLiberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North Constituency, Andrew Simpson has hit out at the government's disgraceful tax credit record after the government published records showing they overpaid £5.8 million of tax credits to residents of Northampton and wrongly paid out over £9 billion across the country.

At the same time they failed to pay over 3,300 families in Northampton the tax credit awards they were entitled to. This amounted to a massive underpayment of £2.1 million.

Local Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson, Andrew Simpson, said,

"The government's record on tax credits here in Northampton is a disgrace. Gordon Brown has presided over a tax credits fiasco that is of his own making.

"Not only have taxpayers in Northampton lost out, but the government is now trying to claw back money from people on very low incomes - even when it was government mistakes which led to the errors.

"The government has overpaid residents of Northampton £5.8 million, and underpaid others £2.1 million.

"The government's shambolic tax credit system leads to uncertainty for many families in Northampton as they have no way of knowing what they will receive. I am campaigning for a simple system of fixed term awards of six months so that families know what they are getting and get what they are entitled to."

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Overpayments and Underpayments by local authority and constituency for 2005/06 can be found at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-payments-0506.pdf

Nationally the government has overpaid £5.7billion in tax credits over the last three years, but Liberal Democrat research also shows that the Government has incorrectly paid out around £3.6bn in fraud and error since 2003 - most of which will never be recovered. This means over £9bn has been paid in error, of which up to £5bn will be lost.