Monday, 14 July 2008

£2.8 BILLION pissed up the wall

Some tax credits yesterday after being handed out to Shazza Le Toyah Wilson of Hull by mistake. She spent them on scratchcards and Lambrini and is now the proud owner of a "Bratz" pair of ceramic hair tongs.

H/T to Patrick

The National Audit Office today published a report on HM Revenue & Customs 2007-08 accounts. The bit that will probably get all the media attention is the ongoing débâcle that is the Tax Credit system, introduced and much beloved by our glorious leader. Tim Burr, head of the National Audit Office, said:

"Levels of tax credits error and fraud are significant when compared with the expenditure on the scheme. I have therefore qualified my opinion on the regularity of these payments. HMRC now has a target and has developed a strategy for reducing error and fraud. It will need to monitor how the measures it adopts are contributing to the achievement of the target and to respond effectively."

HMRC now have a target and strategy to address this financial clusterfuck? Now? Well, that's reassuring. Some of the key information from the report on Tax Credits:

Tim Burr of the National Audit Office this morning

2.45 Since the tax credits scheme was introduced in April 2003 it has suffered from high levels of error and fraud. The Department’s latest estimate is that in 2006-07 error and fraud resulted in between £1.31 billion and £1.54 billion (7.2 to 8.4 per cent of the final value of awards) being paid to claimants to which they were not entitled...

2.46 The Department has set a target to reduce thecurrent level of claimant error and fraud to not more than 5 per cent by 2011...

2.48 In the first four years since the scheme was introduced, the Department calculates that year end adjustments, and other small changes to entitlement after the finalisation of awards, have led to a debt of £7.3 billion. It has also identified £700 million from in year adjustments to 2007-08 awards and will identify further overpayments for this year once awards are finalised. By the end of March 2008 the Department had collected £2.7 billion of this debt and written off£1.0 billion. £4.3 billion remains to be collected of which£1.8 billion is in doubt.

£2.8 BILLION. Simply handed out to any skullfucker with the nonce to ask. Overpayments, fraud, simply throwing bundles of our money out of the bastard window and watching it flutter all the way to Nigeria.



Mark Wadsworth said...

Yup. Nulab quite deliberately piss £2 billion-odd up the wall each year, much the same amount as the Tories lost once, a long time ago, on White Wednesday. And what was better value for money?

Snowolf said...

I remember listen to an article on Al-Beeb's 5 Live a little while ago about the tax credit system.

The gist of the story was HMRC paid out in error and then had the shocking audacity to ask the recipients to pay it back, as you pointed out it had already been spanked on plasma screen tv's, WKD slut petrol and the entire contents of the Solihull branch of Matalan.

One fairly well balanced listener called in to make the point that he realised he'd been overpaid in error and had attempted to contact HMRC to get the mess sorted out. Having eventually found someone to answer the phone, HMRC pretty much told him 'well there's nothing we can do about that.'

I'm betting that 'fraud' is a 50-50 split between fraud and thievery and incompetence and disinterest.

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