Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Concentrix accused of ‘reign of terror’ against tax credits claimants as scandal grows amid job loses.

with 38 comments

Image result for tax farmers

Apparently “Tax farming is not synonymous with modern privatized tax collection, where private individuals or companies collect taxes and pass them to the state in return for a commission or fee, without bearing any risk consequent of default by the taxpayer. Tax farming is speculative, meaning that the tenant of the farm bears the full risk of defaulted debts. In addition, a tenant is often required as a term of the lease to make an early rent payment, which must be financed from his own resources until the revenue stream subject to the farm has started to be collected.”

Still less the same as Concentrix. 

But what on earth is the same as the mess this lot have created?

Concentrix accused of ‘reign of terror’ against tax credits claimants reports Welfare Weekly. 

A US outsourcing company has been accused of exercising a “reign of terror” over people who claim tax credits.

US outsourcing company, Concentrix, which was awarded a £75m contract by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – the department responsible for collecting taxes and paying out certain benefits – has been accused of exercising a “reign of terror” over people who claim tax credits.

The private company was contracted to “reduce fraud and error” in the tax credit system, and to carry out “compliance checks” in a bid to save the government money. More than 500 civil servants have been deployed to help the private company resolve problems it caused by stopping people’s tax credit payments. This includes tax credit awards for the children of both in work and out of work parents, as well as child care payments.

The company has issued an apology for failures that have left many people with no benefit payments for up to two months, leaving them without money for essentials. The US firm has been accused of “incorrectly” withdrawing tax credits.

Officials from HM Revenue and Customs told a committee of MPs that a breakdown in customer services at Concentrix had resulted in only 10% of calls being answered on some days.

Many thousands of people had their tax credits stopped after Concentrix said they were making “fraudulent claims”. In what can at best be described as Kafkasque taunting, one poor woman was told she was in a relationship with a chain of newsagents, another with the philanthropist and poverty researcher, Joseph Rowntree, (who died in 1925,) according to a BBC report. A teenage single mum receiving tax credits was told she was married to a dead pensioner, after having her child tax credit withdrawn. Another mother was told she was living with the previous tenants of the house that she had lived alone in for two and a half years with her son, after her child tax credit was also withdrawn.

It’s difficult to conceive that these allegations could possibly have been made in genuine error. Mumsnet, an online forum for parents, has had over a thousand comments from parents who received letters from Concentrix demanding evidence out of the blue that they live alone. This was just on one page of ten on the site about the unreasonable demands for “compliance” that the company has been making of parents.

More on this story here.

Concentrix workers take to street as fears grow over job security reports the Belfast Telegraph today.

The employment security of up to 350 employees of Concentrix have been cast into doubt after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) terminated its contract with the US-owned company.

Concentrix, which employs more than 1,800 people across a number of sites in Belfast, had been tasked with reducing claimant fraud in the benefit and tax credit system – but HMRC announced earlier this year the contract will not be renewed.

The move came after the Concentrix was accused of incorrectly withdrawing tax credits from hundreds of claimants, while it has also been claimed it answered only 10% of calls on some days.

Since losing the contract, Concentrix has already let go 150 temporary workers.

The Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) staged a rally outside a Concentrix building in Belfast city centre yesterday afternoon to show support to the employees whose future with the company is unclear.

Speaking at the protest, which was attended by up to 50 people, Gayle Matthews, regional secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, said: “We’re here in solidarity with the workers of Concentrix.

“There are really two victims here – the claimants who have been badly affected and the workers who were simply following orders from HMRC.

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

October 15, 2016 at 1:01 pm

38 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on disabledsingleparent.

    mili68

    October 15, 2016 at 7:01 pm

  2. Tweeted @melissacade68

    mili68

    October 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm

  3. So what did Labour and the Conservatives do advised by David Freud, your friendly neighbourhood welfare dilettante? Brought dodgy private profit making companies into welfare provision to police fitness for work (via ATOS, MAXIMUS and the horrific WCA) and legitimate eligibility to benefits received (via CONCENTRIX) under a pernicious “paid by results” agreement where said private PROFIT MAKING companies earned maximal reward by denying as many claimant’s their entitlements as possible.

    What could possibly go wrong with schemes stacked and biased AGAINST claimants like that, eh?

    No wonder Jesus that wept.

    Cocky

    October 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

  4. Labour versus Tory is a sham performance to deceive the population into believing that they the people – have a voice in their government.
    Both parties are owned by the globalist banker scum, it’s nothing but a con,this dump has never been a democracy – when have any of our so called “governments” ever done what the people want?

    Marie

    October 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm

  5. Rothschild banksters massive multi-million pound Waddesdon Manor is a registered CHARITY.Here is the richest billionaire on the planet having his mansions kept by using charitable status, it’s incredible how the mega rich abuse and enslave us.

    http;//www.intmensorg.info/images/waddesdonmanor.jpg

    Marie

    October 16, 2016 at 5:30 pm

  6. Marie

    October 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm

  7. Damn this bloody migraine, can’t put a picture on properly.

    Marie

    October 16, 2016 at 5:43 pm

  8. People have ended up with a council tax summons over this,its another example of claimants being stigmatized.The Tories are unable and unwilling to shoulder any blame for this economic disaster instead pursuing downtrodden people to the bitter end .

    ken

    October 16, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    • Thanks to Eric Pickles and “localism” councils can charge anybody living in their area anything they want to. And most charge benefit claimants 25% of the council tax. Some charge a lot more. Basically the poll tax, which caused riots when Maggie Thatcher introduced it, is back in force without a whisper and Thatcher included an extra amount of money in benefits like Jobseeker’s Allowance to enable people on such benefits to pay it. It really is very shocking how the coalition got away with it. Shocking, surprising and hideously unjust.

      Jezzabola

      October 17, 2016 at 7:20 am

      • What do you expect from a bunch of deranged psychopaths 🙁

        Marie

        October 17, 2016 at 7:44 am

      • It is surprising to many yes. it won’t be soon enough.

        news seeker

        October 18, 2016 at 10:43 am

    • That is precisely the kind of thing we, ordinary people, are faced with.

      It can be a major thing in our lives, the worry and so forth.

      But those making policy have not the slightest idea of what it means.

      Andrew Coates

      October 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      • Why does anyone (especially those on here) still think that they don’t know what their policies mean to the majority of people.

        news seeker

        October 18, 2016 at 10:15 am

    • It’s really a very cynical and punishing programme of massive reductions in personal support from the state to individuals. Many are being hit by the bedroom tax and council tax which together, or separately, can reduce already low benefits to subsistence levels. The unemployed are pretty much expect now to have internet access and a phone of some kind since Universal Credit has to be claimed via the internet (or phone if you have no internet) and managed over the internet/phone: every time your life changes in a way that affect UC you have to report it to one of their call centres right away at a call charge of 45p a minute and usually there is a five to twenty minute wait before you can do this in a queue. (Tip of the day: Call to report changes to Universal Credit call centres on a weekday at 8.00am. If you do it on the dot you’ll probably get through sooner.) If this isn’t hellish enough working age benefits have been frozen until 2020, meaning that they progressively get decreased in real terms by whatever inflation happens to be – and inflation is expected to begin rising significantly in the future because of Brexit. Even if inflation stayed low at 1%, say, that means that by 2020 frozen in-work benefits, including housing benefit and local housing allowance, will have been cut in real terms by AT LEAST 5% and probably much more than this.

      This is like death by a thousand cuts.

      Ten or twenty quid lost on the bedroom tax, a fiver a week up in smoke on the council tax, another fiver lost on the mobile phone, fifteen quid a month on mobile broadband… on so on… and so forth… all gone from money earmarked to buy essentials like food and drink and warmth and you end up with too little left to nourish an adult properly, let alone heat even one room in a home during a cold winter, with all the pernicious spin-offs in respect to health, now and in later life, such privations needs must cause.

      It’s disastrous really.

      I have never seen the needy treated as badly as this by any government before.

      Jezzabola

      October 18, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      • Yes. I like about six miles from my Jobcentre and obviously can’t walk there and back five days a week or afford to travel there often to use their PCs. Not that I really want to because their equipment is so out of date, e.g., insecure Firefox 11 for a browser, current version is 46 on my system, and Writer from Open Office, which would be fine normally, but without MS True Type fonts installed most CVs and letters both look and print weird! (The workstations have the Ubuntu OS installed and only have a small number of raggedy default fonts available.) Also, unbelievably, in my Jobcentre you can’t make a phone call to an employer about a job, or inquire about Jobseeker’s Allowance, or whatever, using Jobcentre phones and more! They’ve all been taken out! Apart from the staff there are no phones available to registered members of the public any more. How the hell can anybody in a position like mine be asked to “work search” for thirty five hours a week without the means to do so? It all costs money and if I spend on phone calls or bus tickets I won’t have enough left to live on. It as if Marie Antoinette rather than Theresa May was Prime Minister and telling us to eat cake if we afford to buy bread. And if we complain people say stupid things like “Well you’ve got money for a mobile phone” or whatever when the DWP pretty much forces us to divert money from spending on food and drink to a phone because of work search requirements. Sometimes I think the world has gone mad.

        Si

        October 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm

  9. Dispatch, “Troubled Famalies Programme’s 99 Percent Success rate”

    On TV now

    Budget: £1Bil

    How to get 99 percent?
    Data Matching – trawl data going back to 2010, if say a man was unemployed, but is now employed, you have a winner.

    Private Companies on the gravy train: Long Term unemployed, put on CV courses rather than getting say a forklift Certificate which would give a actual physical help in getting a job. One scheme only 1 person got a job and he would have anyway.

    99 percent outcome visible on the street: Nope, it would be interesting to match the Police records for these area [whole country] and see if there is a correlation.

    £1.6Bil, well spent…

    Gazza

    October 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    • Gazza, and everyone else, what are they up to now. .

      One wins a tribunal appeal, .but DWP well..

      https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i_won_my_tribunal_appeal_but_the#incoming-882862

      news seeker

      October 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

      • ‘news seeker’

        I’d be putting in a complaint of Equality Act Harrassment on a Individual (person(s) responsibe for failing to do their jobs promptly and deliberatly) & at Corporate level on this ‘continuing’ treatment…

        Gazza

        October 18, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      • I won my tribunal appeal in September, I was already back on Assment rate ESA as I insisted thet DWP put me back on it from the Moment the Trib. accepted my appeal.

        Last Friday I got a letter from my Hosuing association stating i was in arrears again , Some of you may remeber I went through all this in summer where they tried to evict me due to th elength of time the Housing benefit people took to process my claim , well this time it turns out that the system automatically suspends your claim when notified by DWP even though there was no change in my entitlemet to Housing Benefit as I won my appeal and they had not been paying my housing benefit since Sept. 6th and didnt even inform me.

        They claim they dont have to even send a letter informing you of this fact.

        growls

        October 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm

  10. UK security agencies unlawfully collected data for 17 years, court rules.

    The investigatory powers tribunal, which is the only court that hears complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, said the security services operated an illegal regime to collect vast amounts of communications data, tracking individual phone and web use and other confidential personal information, without adequate safeguards or supervision for 17 years.

    Privacy campaigners described the ruling as “one of the most significant indictments of the secret use of the government’s mass surveillance powers” since Edward Snowden first began exposing the extent of British and American state digital surveillance of citizens in 2013.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/17/uk-security-agencies-unlawfully-collected-data-for-decade

    news seeker

    October 18, 2016 at 10:21 am

  11. This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

    Andrew Coates

    October 18, 2016 at 11:03 am

  12. Mr Coates, if I ever find a decent job (stop laughing) I will gladly make a donation.

    Marie

    October 18, 2016 at 11:46 am

  13. Millions of Britains poor forced to live in shitholes thanks to a failed housing regime. Banks don’t want houses built,so those who claim to own their own homes can see massive manufactured price hikes that banks use as collateral for their dodgy loans.Sink estates with vast poverty are rife across the UK.Capitalist greed is the main cause of homelessness and deprivation!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37655908

    Marie

    October 18, 2016 at 12:25 pm

  14. Self-employed earn less than in 2001 – and will be hit by welfare cuts.

    Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: “Britain’s new generation of self-employed workers are not all the budding entrepreneurs ministers like to talk about. While some choose self-employment, many are forced into it because there is no alternative work.

    “Self-employment today too often means low pay and fewer rights at work. We need more decent jobs that people can live on. Not a return to the sort of working practices we saw in Victorian times.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/18/self-employed-earn-less-than-2001-hit-welfare-cuts

    news seeker

    October 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

  15. All UK pubs are required by LAW to have one alcoholic regular who used to be a member of the SAS AND was 2nd Man On the Balcony at the Iranian Embassy. And that’s a FACT, Jack!

    DWP: Who Dares Wins

    October 18, 2016 at 1:45 pm

  16. CETA. debate all you want but it’s going ahead.

    MPs will only be allowed to debate a controversial free trade deal between the European Union and Canada after it has already been signed, the Government has said.

    Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, said in a letter to Parliament’s European Scrutiny Committee that the “parliamentary timetable” was such that a debate could not reasonable be scheduled before he signed the agreement.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ceta-free-trade-debate-vote-uk-deal-canada-eu-europe-liam-fox-a7367401.html

    news seeker

    October 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    • Liam Fox is a complete and utter arsehole.

      Si

      October 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

  17. Which means TTIP is just round the corner.

    Marie

    October 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm

  18. This IS where we are.

    http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/23498

    Saul on the road to Damcar

    October 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

    • Poor people don’t need to be fixed, they just need more money, EXACTLY!

      Marie

      October 19, 2016 at 11:12 am

  19. Nowhere safe to stay: Homeless people “told to sleep rough” despite extreme dangers.

    New research out today from homelessness charity St Mungo’s has revealed that 129 rough sleepers died in London since 2010 – an average of one rough sleeper dying every fortnight – while some people, shockingly, were told by councils to sleep rough to access support.

    The charity’s report, Nowhere safe to stay: the dangers of sleeping rough, sheds light on the dangers of sleeping on the streets for those who experience it on a daily basis, including violence, assault, suicide and abuse.

    One interviewee said: “I’ve been beaten up quite a few times sleeping in doorways, or even in cars, they smash the window in on top of you, spit on you, urinate on you, try and set you on fire. I’ve had all of those things happen to me.”

    http://www.mungos.org/press_office/2669_nowhere-safe-to-stay-homeless-people-told-to-sleep-rough-despite-extreme-dangers

    news seeker

    October 19, 2016 at 11:56 am

  20. Thatcher voted worst Prime Minister in 100 years – and Cameron comes a close second. The evil Tory scum still get voted into power by some of Britains worst gangsters.

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/margaret-thatcher-voted-worst-prime-minister-in-100-years-and-david-cameron-comes-a-close-second-a3372486.html

    Marie

    October 19, 2016 at 1:14 pm

  21. A scheme to cut Government spending by outsourcing back office functions has cost taxpayers more money than it saved, MPs revealed today.

    Whitehall bean counters hoped the programme would save up to £400 million a year.

    Former Tory Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude pushed for Government to farm functions out to the private sector.

    Launching the scheme, he declared: “Sharing services simply makes sense.

    “There is absolutely no need for departments and arms-length bodies to have their own back-office functions, and duplicate efforts, when they can be delivered more efficiently by sharing services and expertise. Plus it will save the taxpayer half a billion pounds a year.”

    But after two and a half years, the scheme has saved just £94 million – less than the total investment cost of £94 million.

    The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warned ministers they must act to improve leadership and governance to prevent any more money being wasted.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/scheme-cut-government-spending-cost-9075519

    Andrew Coates

    October 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    • Government ought to use more open source software, like Linux, and less Microsoft. (The Jobcente I currently attend has Windows 7 installed on Work Coach desktops.) Linux is free and can be customised and tuned to suit any requirement; its also a lot more secure than Windows and less likely to crash or fail. When I visited Google at Palo Alto most of the servers handling internet searches were running Debian Linux as were the Second Life servers at Linden Research.

      Si

      October 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

  22. […] Concentrix accused of ‘reign of terror’ against tax credits claimants as scandal grows amid job … […]


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