Dawn Primarolo: A "huge success"
The minister in charge of tax credits has hailed the take-up of the new Child and Working Tax Credits as a "huge success".
Dawn Primarolo, the Paymaster General, said more than 5.8 million families were now benefiting from the new credits.
The tax credits were introduced in April 2003, but their launch was marred by a series of well-publicised delays and computer problems.
Ms Primarolo said the tax credits were now reaching over 95% of those expected to benefit.
The new credits effectively split the former Working Families Tax Credit - the old-style credit - into two parts: the Child Tax Credit and the Working Tax Credit.
The Child Tax Credit is paid to families with children regardless of whether the parents work, and it is paid directly to the carer.
The government is also anxious to reward people who are in work - and make work pay.
The Working Tax Credit pays in-work credits to people on low incomes through the wage packet including, where appropriate, part of childcare costs.
Around 264,000 families are now benefiting from help with childcare costs, almost 50% higher than the peak of 180,000 under the old-style tax credits, the government said.
The Inland Revenue also said disabled people were benefiting from the new credits, with three times more families with disabled children getting help.
But what do you think of the credits? Are you benefiting from them? Has the service improved since their chaotic launch? Do you have any gripes or worries? Send in your comments, using the postform at the top right-hand side of this page.
A shambolic system, poorly defined, based on old information. I have seen huge over- and under-payments that remain unaddressed. Basing the claims on earnings that are a year out of date is a recipe for disaster, and when the renewals come through we will have exactly the same shambles again.
Angus Nicolson, Scotland
I fail to see how this is a "huge success" - what is so difficult about building the tax relief into everybody's PAYE notice of coding? No, we have to make it much more bureaucratic by making people have to claim it (despite them getting child benefit) and then having to pay directly into their bank account. Can't we just simplify the tax system - please??!
Well, I'm not, I have still not had my details processed. I have contacted them and they do have my details but as of yet, nothing ! Hardly a 'huge success' Mrs Primarolo, another example of insipid spin !
Jim , UK
After submitting a claim for tax credits back in February, we finally received our first payment on 10 September. In our case, the main reason for the delay was the fact that my partner did not have a National Insurance number, having not worked in the UK since moving here from Denmark three years ago. I could have accepted a certain amount of delay in these circumstances if it had not been for the fact that, before claiming, I telephoned to explain our situation and was told that we simply needed to attach an explanatory note. Despite having done so, some months later we received a letter pointing out that we had failed to quote my partner's NI number. We sent a further written explanation and, again months later, were finally told that credits could not be paid to someone without a NI number. Fortunately my partner has now been allocated a number and the problem has been solved but, if only I had been correctly informed when I first phoned, it would have saved us a great deal of time and frustration. The end result could possibly be considered to be a success but the way the affair was handled certainly wasn't.
Andrew Wheatley, UK
I thought Government spin was dead.
It's a huge success in terms of reducing the amount of subsidies which entitled parents can receive. We claimed and after much chasing and phone calls received a tax credit of £0, despite being average wage earners. The middle classes lose both ways with targeted benefits - they pay more tax and receive less in return.
ex-labour voter, England
Interesting that this government can give tax credits to people with children earning over £50,000 p.a. but cannot give a decent pension to those who have worked hard all their lives.
Made a claim online, got pounds into bank account five days later, will recieve monthly Child tax Credit and will recieve a lump sum Working Tax Credit in a week or so.
Following the removal of the married allowance, yet another clawback tax that benefits the government by paying out less overall. This is a government of tax, tax and more tax.
Glenn McCallum, UK
Made claim online. Got award after 5 days. Also recieved cash in bank and wife got paid direct to her postoffice account. Clear sucess for us.
Mr Khan, UK
SUccess!? I received Children's tax credit for 2 years, now I have to pay £900 by January. I filled all my forms in properly, and the revenue worked it all out.
Thanks very much.
No system that hands back tax money is a success because money is lost in administration. Look at the situation with child allowance. The government takes income tax off people. It then wastes money paying administrators' wages to pay the money back in the form of child allowance. Why not just tax families less in the first place?
John R. Owen,
Its rather like going to a restaurant for a meal. It all goes wrong, foods cold or not right and the service is terrible. At the end of the meal the waiter (or in this case waitress) says "What no tip? But lots of other people got their meals ok."
Martin De Cicco,