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Welfare Tax Credit

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes have been made since the introduction of tax credits in 2003 to (a) the clarity of award notices, (b) the length of the accompanying notes and (c) the numbers of duplicate items. (283643)

A revised version of the award notice, reflecting comments from the voluntary and community sector has been in use since April 2006, giving the customer information about entitlement, overpayments and recovery arrangements. Additionally, claimants now receive a summary sheet that explains the most important aspects of their award. This summary highlights the key areas of their award that they need to check, for example, number of children, child care costs, income and account details.

HMRC seek to minimise the number of times it has to send notices to both couples in a household. For example, HMRC generally only issues one annual renewal pack per household if a reply is required. There are some instances where legislation means HMRC have to send out individual notices to each partner but HMRC constantly review their communications and are always exploring ways to improve the customer experience.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 2 June 2009, Official Report, column 413W, on the Lenders' Panel, on what dates the Lending Panel has met; and on what dates it is scheduled to meet. (283692)

At the 2008 pre-Budget report, the Government announced the creation of a new Lending Panel, which meets regularly to monitor lending to businesses and households. The Lending Panel brings together lenders, trade bodies, consumer groups, and the Government, regulators and the Bank of England. The Lending Panel has met approximately monthly since its inception, and will continue to meet as appropriate.