FORMER shadow cabinet minister Kate Green believes that the government’s recent crackdown on tax credits has ‘disproportionately likely to have affected women’.
Speaking exclusively to Quays News the MP stated: “I’ve had men in my constituency as well as women who’ve contacted me because they’ve had a bad experience with concentrix, however its disproportionately likely to have affected women because they’re more likely to be single parents caring for children than men are.”
The former Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities has criticized the the government’s crackdown on tax credits, saying the government is showing a ‘shameful attitude towards single mothers’.
The MP for Stretford and Urmston stated in a Westminster Hall debate regarding Performance of Concentrix in dealing with tax credit claimants earlier today: “It’s clear that the deliberate intention of the contract was to target single parents on the basis of assumptions that they were living with a partner and not reporting it.”
Conentrix’s performance as a contractor for HMRC was brought forward by Labour’s former shadow equalities minister Fiona Mactaggart, who accused HMRC and the Treasury of providing “totally flimsy evidence” for the private company to investigate, insisting they should shoulder the blame for policy failures.
However, the Green believes that contractrix has not behaved in a starndard expected of a company representing the public, and that thieir performance raises questions about the contracting out of vital public services.
The former MP went on to state her dissatisfaction of the policy saying: “If a policy particularly disadvantages one group in society then there’s something wrong with the policy”
The MP for Slough stated in the debate: “Constituents feel harassed, scared and pinned up as targets by the way that this has occurred. It’s not acceptable in a civilised society to treat mothers in this manner.”
Both former shadow cabinet secretaries also told stories about how their constituents their constituents were forced to pawn their late parents’ jewellry to make ends meet, how food in their freezer spoiled after their electricity was cut off, or how they were forced spend their last £5 on submitting evidence to the company using expensive recorded delivery.
Last month, the Government said Concentrix’s contract to reduce fraud and error in the tax credits system would be terminated after claimants wrongly had their benefits scrapped.
The private America based firm responded with a statement saying:
“Concentrix was contractually obligated to contact individual tax credit claimants based on information provided by HMRC and we operated professionally at all times and within the guidance and protocols set by HMRC. We recognise that the re-evaluation of individual tax credits claims can be difficult for all concerned and we adopt a rigorous process at every stage to ensure we manage this process responsibly. Through the term of the contract we are pleased to have saved the taxpayer nearly £300m in authentic confirmed tax fraud and error which otherwise would have cost the taxpayer money.”