In a Commons Opposition Day debate on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs – and its use of outsourcing – Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth) has been telling MPs how single mothers and small local businesses are turning to him for advice.
The debate had begun with Rebecca Long-Bailey (Shadow Treasury Minister) moving a motion calling on the Government to investigate into the performance of a private company – Concentrix – which is contracted by HMRC to check the eligibility of claimants for the payment of tax credits.
In the debate Doughty said “I apologise for the state of my voice, but it is important that I speak in this debate on behalf of the many constituents who have contacted me about, and who are suffering as a result of, this scandalous Concentrix shambles”
Doughty publicly thanked his office staff for the “work they have done in dealing with a number of distressing cases involving individuals who have been in deep hardship and have been greatly upset.”
He said many constituents did not realise that “the MP is the place to go” for advice on such matters.
He cited the case of a single mother who had a ” long-standing claim suspended after Concentrix said that she was living with another named woman in her rented property”. He said “It was suggested that a third woman was also living at the property, but both were actually previous tenants of the home, one from as far back as 2010. The information had come from the electoral register, even though my constituent had lived in the property only since 2014.” Doughty said the claim had now been reinstated .
Later Doughty told MPs that ” Small businesses in my constituency come to me with complex VAT cases and say, “It is one rule for those at the top and another for us.” They are often put into severe hardship and face deep complications as they try to resolve these cases. By the time people arrive at the doors of Members of Parliament, they are often in severe financial difficulties, be that as an individual or as a business.”
PDN NOTE: Businesses only have to register for VAT if their annual VAT-taxable turnover is in excess of £83,000 a year .