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Dundee LibDems back call to extend Tax Credits deadline

August 2, 2007 6:18 AM

Dundee Liberal Democrats have today (Thursday 2nd August) backed calls for the Westminster Government to consider extending the recent deadline to reapply for tax credits if it is clear families have been unable to complete their applications.

In previous years many people have struggled to get through to the tax credit helpline, which advises on filling in the forms. Thousands of families could face having to repay more tax credits this year because of problems filling in the complex forms.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Danny Alexander MP, said, "Given the past problems with the tax credits helpline, the Government should consider extending the deadline if large numbers of people are unable to get through to the helpline ... This chaotic and complex system has caused real hardship by overpaying nearly two million people in previous years.

"People are forced to repay money when they fail to spot an official mistake on a complex form - which is a total injustice."

Locally, here in Dundee, Liberal Democrat City Council Group Leader, Cllr Fraser Macpherson, said, "I have had many complaints from constituents since Tax Credits were introduced about the complexity of the system and the real difficulty getting through to the helpline to apply or get issues resolved.

"There is a clear need for government flexibility with regard to deadlines as it is important to ensure people are not subjected to unnecessary and avoidable financial hardship."

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