The SNP’s Gordon Macdonald has written to the UK government calling for reassessments of Child Tax Credits in Scotland to correspond with Scottish school term times, following reports of delayed payments.
The Edinburgh Pentlands MSP has been contacted by families who are struggling to manage, after they did not receive the Child Tax Credits payments they were due. HMRC confirmed they are recalculating all Child Tax Credits in line with the return of schools in England, with payments delayed due to system overloads.
Child Tax Credits were automatically stopped on 31 August 2018 (in line with the new school term in England) despite families in Scotland contacting HMRC two weeks ago (when schools in Scotland returned) to ensure their information was up to date and that there would be no delays to their payments.
Families are now facing delayed payments of up to £175 (per child, per week) whilst HMRC reassess families in Scotland – despite children having been back at school for over two weeks already.
The SNP MSP has said that it is nonsensical for the UK government to assess Scottish families according to English school terms, and is calling for an urgent change to the process to reduce the impact of delays upon families.
Commenting SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, Gordon Macdonald, said, “This is yet another example of the Tory’s mismanagement and their lack of consideration for Scotland.
“The UK government’s unwillingness to recognise Scottish school term times is leading to an overloaded department and is, ultimately, leaving families short of money and struggling to manage – through no fault of their own.
“There is simply no need for this to be happening. Schools in Scotland return in mid-August and that is when Child Tax Credit payments should be recalculated. It would alleviate the workload that HRMC are now facing and, most importantly, reduce the negative impact on families in Scotland.
“Tory austerity measures are already driving Scottish families into poverty and these families are facing further hardship simply because of the incompetence of the UK government in not taking Scottish school holidays dates into account.”