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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Revenue staff in tax-credit walkout
Mother and baby
Mothers are still waiting for their credits

Hundreds of Inland Revenue workers have taken part in a "spontaneous" walkout in protest at the introduction of the government's new tax credit scheme.

Offices hit by the 15-minute strikes were in the north of England and Scotland, the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said.

The civil service union said it was a "warning shot to the board", and it couldn't rule out balloting for strike action, if the problems were not resolved.

There has been growing anger and frustration, among Revenue frontline staff, over the chaos caused by the introduction of the government's new scheme.

The continuing delays and errors are still causing big problems and financial worries for many BBC News Online readers.

Walkout

The offices hit by the action were at public enquiry centres in Manchester and Sunderland, two offices near Glasgow, and Dunfermline.

Tax credit fiasco
It is basically diabolical
Contract worker describes life on the helpline

The union told BBC News Online it was in protest at working conditions, continuing computer problems, training and bad planning.

It said workers were unable to deliver the high quality of service they were used to.

The union's national officer Graham Steel said staff felt they were not receiving the support they deserved from the management.

Mr Steel told BBC News Online: "The walkouts are a warning shot to the board. They really need to respond to and listen to the frontline staff, or they will have more trouble down the track.

Mr Steel said strike action could be a possibility - if the Revenue board did not sort out the problems.

"I think we will actively consider to have a strike ballot if no action is taken to improve matters."

We are still working to make the computer system perform faster, and more reliably
Inland Revenue statement

The Revenue said in a statement it had an "excellent working environment" for its staff, caller numbers were subsiding and the strikes had been "limited".

It said there were signs it was pulling through this "very challenging period of work".

"The Board of Inland Revenue appreciates the efforts staff right across the Department are making to ensure that people receive the tax credits to which they are entitled. We are still working to make the computer system perform faster, and more reliably," the statement said.

Simmering discontent

There has been growing discontent in the union about working conditions.

At the Inland Revenue's branch conference on Monday, delegates expressed severe anger at the conditions in the call centres.

The delegates threatened strike action and called for resignations.

The first visible protest by Revenue staff, at its Bootle office, took place three weeks ago.

But this is the biggest action so far, and reflects growing discontent among members, which make up a powerful 90% of the Revenue's staff.

Sir Nicholas Montagu, chairman of the Board of the Inland Revenue, will be questioned by the Treasury sub-committee on 18 June, about the introduction of the new credits.

The National Audit Office, the government's spending watchdog, has told BBC News Online it plans to report on the credits later in the year.

How are you finding the system? Has it improved? Have you got your money? Please send in your comments:

Your comments

The system is still in a mess. We received notification that we were awarded the credit in February.4 copies of this arrived. Since then we have had 12 letters asking for our bank details. We have returned several although all the information was on the original form. We have even managed to have enough patience and time to get through on the phone and had it confirmed that they have all the details. The system however does not recognise our internet bank and they cannot get it to do so even though it is one suggested on their letters to us!! We have now received another 4 letters asking us for more details and also changing the income threshold. I am now dealing with the local office. The problems are not over.
Lucinda Adams, England

I have had two sets of claim forms the first of which I completed back in November. We then received an awards notice in January. Since the application we had to change our bank so advised the tax office in February. By end of April we had had no payment. A subsequent letter arrived telling us that they cannot deposit our payment into our bank which must mean they are trying our old bank account? They would therefore pay by giro every month. We now have had two further tax credit awards notices each of different amounts and we still have not had any payment by either giro or bank deposit? Shambles is an understatement.
Nigel Barrett, UK

I sent my tax credit form back on the 29/09/02 and I am still waiting. Every time I get through I am told I am in the system. How do I feed my baby and keep a roof over our heads
ms a carrington , england

I applied for tax credits last December and was informed last week that my payment is 0.00 as I have no qualifying children. I tried to phone the help line to no avail and was sent another awards letter today telling me I had not signed the original in time and so my payment of 0.00 was being stopped. I don't know what to do next. I have two children under 9
Mrs Emma Merry, England

I have been trying to contact the IR helpline for over six weeks. Each time I ring, I get the standard "high call volume at present, you have not been charged for this call" greeting. On three occasions I managed to get through, pressed the button for option 5 (to speak to an assistant) and was shocked to find that the system just says "we are too busy to deal with your call" and hangs up on you! After waiting for ages to get through, and days or weeks - not just minutes! It is not fair that this is being allowed to happen. The online version should be sorted out so that I can at least inform someone by email that there is a mistake on my award notice - it tells me I have "no qualifying children" - yet I have two, both under 16! The complaints system is longwinded, and quite honestly I hold no faith in it because that is likely to take ages anyway. Why is this not in the press, and why aren't people doing anything about it.
Gerard O'Reilly, UK

The most stupid thing about all this chaos is that it was entirely avoidable. In most cases the revenue already have the information required to pay the credits -since they receive P60s and tax returns for the entire working population. We had to fill in a detailed form knowing that we were entitled only to the CTC but they still messed it up!
Roger Mills, UK

I am down nearly £100 a month, I filled in the forms ages ago, like others here I was told I had 'no qualifying children I have a son of 14,trying to phone is impossible, WHEN is a major politician going to intervene and sort this out? I f we owe the government money, they take it, or penalise us. This is very bad.
Dave,Slough, England

Very similar situation to that of Gerard O'Reilly, UK On 22nd May 2003 we have received 10 notifications (5 for myself and 5 for my wife), all with different figures - we are completely confused and have absolutely no faith in the new tax credits. Would someone please sort this chaos out?
Mark Dennis, UK

It is an absolute nightmare
Mike Kerslake, Wales
I don't have any confidence in Inland revenues System or records. They state that I am disabled (I'm not), I have only 1 child (I have 2 of which 1 has a disability)and they quote my income at about a 1/3 of what it is. I know the information I provided them was accurate and I am still waiting to here from them after advising them of their errors over 3 weeks ago.
Ian Smart, uk

I returned my completed claim form days after receiving it back in October. The IR sent an acknowledgement in November and we have not received anything since. Calls to the helpline, have revealed mistakes in the data entered on the computer and latterly that a record of our claim cannot be found. However, I have yet to receive any indication of what the IR plan to do about it.
Peter Setter, UK

After receiving my award notice, I was sent a poorly copied letter saying my Tax Credit had been wrongly calculated to include an element we were not entitled to. My payment arrived in the bank a day early at the 'wrong' level. A few days later a further payment was made to my bank for more than the alleged 'too high' payment. Then came a new award notice telling me about that payment and promising yet another shortly. That hasn't arrived yet, but more duplicate copies of the same award notice (even the same date) have. I surrender, and guess what, I work for this department!
Anonymous, England

My income dropped by two thirds. I advised the IR on 6/3/2003. To date I have still not received an updated award letter or the higher level of payments The IR number in Scotland has been unobtainable for at least four weeks.
James Bollan, Scotland

Do not blame the Inland Revenue staff, they are simply the staff who have to sort out this mess. Gordon Brown is the person who introduced this fiasco. We have the most confusing tax system in the world and lets face it with all his spin and confusion this is merely another example of blinding the public with science and hoping that they do not notice that the majority are worse off. Lets face it according to him he has not put up taxes - oh silly me the extra 1% on National Insurance is not tax is it and what about the 32% increase I have had in the last two years under Council tax. Spin, Spin and more Spin. What is he up to with the Euro - you watch whatever he has in mind will cost us more in taxes. So once again don't shoot the messenger ie the I.R staff - just imagine what it must be like for them!!
Tony Williams, UK

If a private company gave this level of service they would not be around for long. I wish I had not applied....
V Gurewicz (Mr), England

Similar story to many already detailed here. The forms were filled in and sent last year, but nothing heard from IR until yesterday when my wife and I both received two identical letters each saying we did not have any qualifying children. They are 3, 5 & 7, so this is obviously incorrect. My wife finally got through on the helpline after holding for 20 minutes and was told that the system was falling apart and 'don't expect for matters to improve until June'. When asked what we should do next she was told to fill in a new form and put at the top of it that it was a replacement because the original has been misread/scanned. Then the chap told her that he couldn't help her anymore because she had come through to the wrong number! My wife had followed the instructions correctly, so obviously the IR's phone system is also falling apart with the stress! It is an absolute nightmare and our meagre savings are rapidly running dry.
mike kerslake, Wales

I filled in my form last year when I received it, asking for the credit to be paid weekly, and sent it back. To date , I have had one payment of £10.08 on the 17th April, and nothing since. I have managed to get through once when the computers were working, well over 60 times when they were not, to be told that my payments had been suspended, because I had not returned a form for signature which I have not received. Now I am finding it difficult to get through to a department that can tell me what is happening to my claim.
R. Shanklin,

Having someone crying down the phone because they are facing eviction is not a fun part of my job. We on the front line of the Revenue do care and we are doing what we can to help.
Kevin, UK

A letter regarding missing information on our claim form asked for my name and national insurance number, both of which were at the top of the letter from the Revenue! - Is that a delaying tactic or just plain stupidity?
R ick Aplin, UK

It would have been cheaper and more efficient to have raised the child benefit for everyone.
caron, england

We filled in forms in December 02 and answered queries a month later, confirmed by phone. Since then we have had 3 notices - in May and one sent to a previous address - stating that we are entitled to nothing (not the case) as we have no children (one and one on the way) yet are confirmed as paying childcare costs! The latest was a conversation on the phone (after many attempts) and now we are waiting to hear more ...............
Alison, UK

Our notification was incorrect at first - my wife and I were wrongly classified as disabled. We corrected this but have yet to receive a new notice. We are now getting 2 payments a month but I haven't got a clue what the amounts are for. What if they have overpaid us - how will they claw back the money ? Thats the next crisis on the horizon !!
Andrew Long, UK

When I filled in the form last October I could not help thinking that I already supply most of the information to the Inland Revenue annually. It would have only taken a small change to the annual tax return to capture the additional data required. We received an acknowledgement in January but have as at May 22nd we have heard absolutely nothing. However the Govt is taking it's increased NI contribution and PAYE - yes Mr Brown, we have noticed that you did not index the PAYE allowances last year. How can anyone have any confidence in anything this Government says
Trevor Parkerson, England

I have recieved my notification giving our income £14,000 higher than it is. Tried the helpline, got through, new notification still had the same error! Now cannot get through to helpline.
Bob White, England

I work for a Revenue income tax call centre that has been taking tax credit calls since Easter. We have only limited knowledge and understanding of the subject because we were never meant to deal with it. On the whole the public has been as understanding of our situation as we are of theirs. Having someone crying down the phone because they are facing eviction is not a fun part of my job. We on the front line of the Revenue do care and we are doing what we can to help.
Kevin, UK

Over a month ago I thought it best to register my application by the internet. Upon completion given a reference no., but to date still waiting for confirmation of application. I can not talk to anyone, phoneline constantly engaged. A response stating that they have recieved my application and it shall be dealt with would suffice. Other electronic systems do this much at the very least.
Carl Gooding, Cleveland

I applied online, almost immediately after receiving the forms, and all I have received is a letter last week saying there were problems with my form (there weren't) and could I please supply my name, address and NI Number. And yes, you've guessed it, all were printed on the letter asking for them! Shambles doesn't come close to describe this nonsense.
Tim, Brighton, UK

You won't believe this, but I have written several letters and tried to make several phone calls,to try to persuade the IR to reduce the £8500 they were trying to give me!.
darren, uk

Abysmall....just one thing I keep hearing ""high call volume at present, you have not been charged for this call"...it's a disgrace.
Brian Boreman, Bolton

Guess I was just lucky . Applied on-line end of last year , received award notification in March , money went into my bank 1st May as promised. Only hiccough was receiving a second form to fill in earlier in the year but I just ignored it . I think they sent second forms out to lots of people by mistake . I feel sorry for those who are obviously having such terrible problems.....it is OUR money after all !!
Roy Baker, England

Please do not blame the staff in the local offices. As far as I know (basing the evidence on the fact that I work in one), then they are doing an excellent job; working under immense presure having to deal with the deluge of emergency payments, as well as all the tax enquires which are normal at this time of year. The blame needs to go with the "chain of command": Treasury come up with a 'smart'idea, pass it on to the board, who pass it on etc, etc. As per usual , not enough research into customer base (i.e how many will apply, how many will ring up), poor IT infrastructure, limited training and not enough training. But will heads roll.....probably not.
Anonymous, UK

The Inland Revenue is set up to collect taxes, not pay out social security benefits. Should there be any surprise at this chaos?
Kevin, UK

The tax credit phonelines are still continuously engaged at all times. I have received no award notice and although I am getting some payments into my bank account I am being shortchanged by about £6 per week. Having had no award notice I don't know how these people have calculated our award - they certainly havent used the figures I gave them , and with two children, we still have bills to pay. In addition I am now paying more national insurance and my tax code has dropped so I am not really any better off. The whole thing is an utter disgrace.
Geoff Cook, England

I work for the Citizens Advice Bureau, and all bureau have been issued with a direct line telephone number to the Tax Credit Office. We cannot give out this number to the public, but if claimants visit their local CAB, their adviser will be able to ring the Tax Credit Office on their behalf. Our experience so far (at our own CAB office) is that we can get through (!) and the Tax Credit Advisers make strenuous efforts to resolve the difficulties raised. However, it is still the case that even when we speak to them there are still issues with the computer system 'being down'. Despite this they are still managing to deal with our enquiries. One word of caution. The CAB is a charity and the advice service is provided by Volunteers. Therefore it frequently faces a very high demand for its service and may also be experiencing a shortage of volunteers. So if possible please try to check beforehand their availability, opening hours, appt system and the likelihood of being able to see a volunteer adviser to resolve your issue. In this way you may avoid a wasted journey.
Jackie Taylor, Liverpool England

I sympathise with the chap who glued his hand to the desk at the tax office. The Government is clearly out of touch - the average man suffers. The media are not making enough of what is a very important issue, this is a shame.
M Khan, UK

Why on earth did the Government decide to do everyone at once? This is where the chaos is. Any decent manager will tell you that it is too ambitious and that they should have done this bit by bit and staggered the crossover. The worrying thing is that I've seen an advert tonight for Pensions to be paid direct as well.
Si , Wiltshire, UK

I just do not know what to do
Chand, UK

I ring day and night to the credit tax hotline. Even when i do get through the message is a recorded one saying my call cant be taken
avi, england

The tax credits are in a mess. I sent my completed pack to the inland revenue in November 2002 and I was still getting reminder forms to send my paperwork until March 2003. I know that I am only entitled to 500.00 pounds per year, but I am receiving over 500.00 pounds per month. I have tried to contact the helpline, but as many people have already stated, it is constantly busy. I hope that they get this mess sorted out.
Gary, England

I have noticed today, with the arrival of my bank statement, that payments made do not agree with the notification I recieved from the tax office. I thought that I was doing well to get any confirmation at all and now I realise that it means nothing. I have tried to call on the number given to sort out the problem. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that I have failed to get through.This has gone beyond unfair and has entered into the realms of the absurd. Surely the government must realise that treating people ike this will affect not just families, but the way families vote in the future. So much for our children being important.
Diane Chell, England

Recently my husband was sent a letter telling him that he had not supplied his name, address, NI number or birthdate. Not only were these all on the form we'd sent in, but the letter was addressed to my husband using his name and address and, guess what? his NI number was used as a reference. Since then, nothing.
Julie, UK

Our award is in a complete mess. We made an application in September 2002 and have received an award far less than what we anticipated. At least lucky that we received something, however, based on their online calculator, our award is no where near what we are entitled to. After continuous phone calls since January 2003 and few letters as my income has dropped by 30%, we have still heard nothing from tax credit. Infact, most of their calls are routed to our phone number at home and we tend to answer atleast 15-20 calls a day including Saturdays and Sundays. I just do not know what to do as I can't get throught to them but am getting their calls over to us. I am sure the callers must be delighted to hear a voice on our line only to find out that we can't help them but could only offer our sympathy.
Chand, England

I applied online in Sep 2002. All seemed to be going smoothly, and my wife patiently awaited payments into her account as we had specified. I was on the verge of phoning up to see where payments were, only to spot that the money was in fact being paid into our joint account. This was not what we asked for and kid of defeats the object of what was trying to be achieved. I guess I should just be grateful that we are recieving the correct amount of money.
Lee Goddard, England

I sent my form in last year and got a confirmation that it had been received. TWO WEEKS AGO my wife received a questionaire asking her to confirm her name, NI number, address, and date of birth. What was the point of this so long after the original application was sent in??? Everything they asked for had been written in the original application and was already held in their system anyway as a result of us receiving child benefit. Absolutely bizarre! What is even more frustrating is that from the beneficiaries point of view, the system that has been replaced was perfect.
David Carmichael, UK

Laughable if it were not that the people who are suffering most are those that Gordon Brown claims to be helping!
David T, England

After weeks of trying to get through to the Help Line, I finally managed to get through the other day, but they were unable to help me as the computer system was down! If they are so busy, why are they closing at 8 O'Clock every day? It's time this mess was sorted out.
Chris May, England

I did what the government wanted me to and instead of living on benefits when my marriage fell apart I fell for the back to work incentives. What a Joke I would be better off on benefits.
Christine Allen, England

I am recieving to much tax credit. inland revenue do not answer telephone call,or reply my letters. money is going into my accout. What do I do?
Sarah, uk

We've each received a letter telling us our details don't match those on their file. Which is curious as those details are all correct on the letters they sent to tell us that they were wrong! Personally, I reckoned they were sending these out so they could move us from the 'unpaid' pile to the 'pending correction' pile and thus make their performance figures look better. But having seen the accounts of widespread error here, perhaps it really is just another mess-up on their part. What annoys me most is that all this was so unnecessary as they already *had* all our details on their computer for the previous child credit scheme and had no need to waste our time filling in yet more wretched forms!
Philip Allcock, England

I applied over the internet. I have received five reminders since and no acknowledgement of my application, but the money rolls into my account.
Fred , Orkney

I can appreciate their frustration as i have been trying to phone to notify them of a change of circumstance for three weeks now and I am unable to get through to them on the phone it is constantly engaged!!
sue morga , england

Solution to everyone having problems - go down your local tax office, give them your details again and ask the nice lady (or man) for an emergency giro payment there and then - sorted!
Shane White, UK

Why on earth didn't these government bodies simplify matters by sending a form out to all existing claimants of family credit etc, Asking 'have your circumstances changed? If not, sign the form and bingo, they already have the details on file for that particular family. Saves time, paperwork, and fuss.
Mik, uk

Just another example of the government thinking they can deliver something when they cannot. We applied 10 weeks ago - although we qualify, we haven't received anything and to be honest we don't expect to. I just don't think it will happen. It's a disgrace - there are loads of people who cannot afford to wait for this money (to which they are entitled) but are caught up in this fiasco.
Kate, England

Tax credits are a shambles. Helplines are never open, took three visits to local tax office to sort out. Which is not easy with three year old and two month old baby, my three year old daughter was not allowed to use toilet despite the fact we had been waiting for 1 hour and was desperate to use the toilet. She could have used her own toilet if the helplines did not cut you off as soon as you get through. I am disgusted with the service provided.
C Dixon, England

Blame Gordon Brown. Endless tinkering with the margins of the tax system, introducing new levels of bureaucracy, when it needs wholesale reform. I am still repaying overpaid tax credit from previous years because the Inland Revenue were not fast enough to catch up with my wife's return to work after maternity leave. Now, at a time when our family income is halved because my wife has had to give up work to look after a new baby , we get nothing. Nice one, Gordon!
David, UK

We did receive details of an offer over 2 months ago but have not received a penny yet. Since then I've lost my job and have been trying to get the award adjusted but to no avail - throughout the 100 or so phone calls I've made I have got through just once but the person I spoke to cut me off before I had told them anything. I wrote a letter of complaint, and got a phone call from another department apologising, but with no offer of help. I was told I couldn't fax or write, I HAD to phone ! When I said I couldn't get through I was told I had to keep trying! They even suggested some quiet times when I might get through, but to no avail. It's a total shambles - the Chancellor shouldn't keep meddling it just causes chaos.
Jason, Horsham, UK

I have applied 3 times since November and still nothing. My salary has dropped due to the new tax codes for parents and I'm struggling with no end in sight. Not one of my colleagues or friends has received any credits so I really do not believe the government nor the revenue when they tell us most people are receiving it OK. This is an obvious fallacy. The revenue needs to sort its failing computer systems out now.
Dave Hay, UK

It's not surprising really,as our system of personal allowances and 'clawback' charges is now so complicated I suspect few of us understand how our tax codes are arrived at any more. I don't blame the civil servants though, I'm sure they are doing their best to sort the problems out. The real blame lies with the politicians, who have for years deliberately manipulated what used to be a comparatively straightforward tax system solely for the purpose of introducing increased levels of taxation through the back door - the so called 'stealth taxes. But it's not just the Labour party to blame - the Conservatives were first to adopt these tactics during the Thatcher and Major years - Labour merely learned from them and refined the technique! Isn't it time we sent a message to the politicians that we want some honesty and integrity from them, and a tax and benefits system we can all understand?
Bill Lloyd, UK

I have filled in the forms and was given notification about the amount that we would receive and when it would be deposited into our bank account.this happened as i we were told ,only to receive two further letters informing us that we had no qualifying children.it is impossible to get through on the help line.the government shuold step in and do something about it.
Rob Wilson, england

On several occasions before the tax credit actually started I called to have my record corrected, the first time Inland revenue had shown me receiving no salary (funny that as I have to do self assessment so they have all the figures). A revised notice was received with the correct details and the new revised payments quoted. Upon commencement the tax credit system has been paying the original tax credit amounts which is substantially more than we should receive needless to say my wife now has a healthy savings account albeit temporarily. Making matters worse we have been trying since the payments started to call IR to have this error adjusted but just cannot get through on the helpline, the local tax office can not help with these credits either. We have now once again received a further quote for the tax credit this time I have a salary but substantially less than I earn - where have these figures come from? This is a total shambolic mess and a warning to all - do not spend the money if you are not entitled to it as the IR one day will sort themselves out and then request it back in full and more than likely with interest if you repay late. My concern is that many of us may not realise that we have been paid the incorrect amount s and spend the entitlement received which would lead to debt with the IR. Resignations should be forthcoming for this farce!
Mr D'Ash, England

Problems over, give it a rest I thought the government had finished with it's spin. Schools closing due to lack of funds yet another labour cock up. I'm still waiting on my entitlement.
Steve, Aberdeen, Scotland

One area no-one appears to have considered is the cost of Brown's tinkering with the credit system. The Revenue already had most of the information from previous versions of tax and credit information. What a waste of money.
Derek Walton, UK

I filled in the forms that ask you for your earnings up to April 2002. I am working more hours this year so when the award came through I notified them I was doing 8 extra hours a week. They sent me two awards based on my extra hours. But have taken no account of the payments i make to my pension. It is impossible to get through to the helpline it is constantly engaged or the answer phone tells you to phone back later as they are experiencing high volume calls.
Jean botfield, england

We have received 10 awards now, every single one has been wrong in some way. We have now been overpaid by £1000 in the last month. This money is now sitting in a high interest instant access savings account as we have given up trying to contact the IR. I'm sure they'll ask for it back one day!
Neil, UK

What a total chaos, I'm greatly relieved that my to kids are too old for this. Now I only have to pay the Student Stealth Tax for my kids who want to go to University.
Charles Smith, England

TAX CREDITS AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

We are a couple, struggling to survive every month, I work 40 hours a week, we have 2 children, Jordan, he is 5 and Amelia, she is 6 months old, we applied for the tax credits in November, and just waited, and waited, and waited, it wasn't until my sister got her award notice through that i started to chase it up in about February, all they said was "yes sir, it's all ok, and your award is in the post, it should be with you within 2 weeks" so i said thank you, and thought nothing more of it, until 3 weeks later still nothing. so i phoned them again, "yes sir, it's all ok, and your award is in the post, it should be with you within 2 weeks" so i thought I¿d give them the benefit of the doubt and wait, 3 weeks later, still nothing, so I phoned the AGAIN, "yes sir, it's all ok, and your award is in the post, it should be with you within 2 weeks" at which point I pointed out to them what a joke this is, then I got through to someone who said ¿it¿s all arranged and payment will ! go into your bank on May 2nd¿ but, May 2nd nothing went into my bank, so I phoned them, they said ¿sorry sir, I don¿t know why but your application has been terminated, I¿ll look into it for you¿ that was the last time I could get hold of them for about 3 weeks, when finally the award notice came through the door, I was happy, until I opened it, it said we was entitled to nothing, because we didn¿t have any children, So I phoned them Again, Got through to someone, who said they would re-submit it, and that was the last I have heard anything, and cant get hold of them because they say you have to go through to option 5 on the phone system, which conveniently says ¿we are currently experiencing high call volumes and cannot answer your call at present, please try again later¿, so I did, for 4 weeks now, and get the same message 12 hours a day, I try on my mobile, my partner tries on the home phone, but no luck. The trouble is I can¿t see an end to it.
Chris Tring, Kent

We received our forms back stating our payments would be made to someone else (whom we do not know) As usual, any errors on the form should be notified by telephone, to a number that is impossible to connect to.
Neil, UK

I won't bore you all with more tales as described already. I would like to say though that the IR are the ones that send out P60'S, so why is it so difficult to sort out ? Added to this, Gordon Brown announced this over 12 months ago, surely somebody should have realised that work was required to get it running properly. Somebody at the Treasury should resign.
Geoff, UK

The first thing they should do is admit there's a BIG problem. Until they do I'm afraid people will continue to struggle without their tax credits. Pretending everything is OK will only make things worse until someone takes responsibility.
Simon Jones, UK

I am very disappointed at the apparent inability of the Inland Revenue to implement the new tax credits scheme. I have read several newspaper reports on the chaotic beginning to this new system ¿ one that was supposed to simplify the process of lower income families getting what they deserve. Why has it received so little press coverage overall though? There are single parent families out there in desperate need of this money - single parent families that face eviction from their homes because of this - and it only receives mid-paper or Internet coverage!?! It's just madness. My personal experience is that I have recently become a father again but cannot contact the Revenue to let them know - so I'm missing out on money here. I have also received two incorrect `award notices` and after about 10 or 15 unsuccessful 'phone calls and (as yet) one unanswered letter I cannot get my award corrected.
Graham Pearce, England

I have two children and work part time not only have I been given a pittance of an award my husbands tax code has changed and we are down £200 per month. I'm sure the inland revenue wouldn't wait if you owed them money! Does any of the Politicians care that this system is not working. It certainly hasn't helped my family.
C Tait, Scotland




SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Tax credit problems
14 May 03  |  Business
Tax credit delay infuriates parent
15 Apr 03  |  Business


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