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Welfare Tax Credits

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the Government have written off in misplaced tax credits in (a) Hampshire and (b) England in each year since their inception. (153631)

The total value of disputed overpayments in the UK written off as a result of official error was around the following:

Value (£ million)

2004-05

5.8

2005-06

180.0

2006-07

9.0

The value of disputed overpayments written off in 2005-06 was greater because HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cleared a large number of cases from the first year of tax credits where error rates were much higher. HMRC details of the procedures adopted between April 2005 and 30 September 2005 were published in the Supplementary memorandum submitted by HMRC in the Treasury Select Commission’s report: “The administration of tax credits: sixth report of session 2005-06: Volume 2 Oral and written evidence (page Ev193), House of Commons papers 811-II 2005-06”.

The information requested is not available at county level or for England.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of people who were underpaid tax credits in 2005-06 were living on incomes of less than 60 per cent. of UK median earnings. (153981)

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, information on the number of underpaid tax credit awards in 2005-06 by level of income used for calculating tax credit entitlement is available in Table 5 of the HMRC publication “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Annual Awards 2005-06. Supplement on Payments in 2005-06”, which is available on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personaltax-credits/cwtc-quarterly-stats.htm

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many tax credit claimants had their entitlements wrongly calculated in each year for which figures are available. (153992)

Information on error and fraud in the Child and Working Tax Credits can be found on HMRC’s website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personaltax-credits/error-fraud.htm

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his estimate is of the increase in the annual entitlement to tax credits as a result of increasing the income disregard from £2,500 to £25,000; what the margin of error is in that calculation; and if he will make a statement. (154621)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member on 19 December 2006, Official Report, column 1472W.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimates of the number of tax credit compliance staff have been made public since 1 March 2003; and if he will make a statement. (154622)

Ministers and officials update Parliament on tax credit staffing numbers as necessary and these are on the record. For the most recent figures on compliance staff available, I refer the hon. Member to the Committee of the Public Accounts 22nd report, of Session 2006-07, on tax credits and specifically to the oral evidence by HMRC officials on 23 October 2006 given at question 80.