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Tax Credit Helpline

Volume 406: debated on Tuesday 10 June 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answers of 15 May 2003, Official Report, column 384W, to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, West, and of 8 May 2003, Official Report, column 719W, to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable), on the Tax Credit helpline, what additional resources were allocated to the handling of callers to the helpline; and what assessment he has made of the impact which the additional resources have had on the helpline service. [115703]

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement I made to the House on 28 April when I explained that the Inland Revenue had moved an additional 700 staff on to handling callers to the Tax Credit helpline. The helpline continues to be very busy, although as I said on 4 June 2003, Official Report, column 121WH, the number of calls to the helpline has fallen and the pressure is easing as the numbers of awards and payments rise.