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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 October 2016

Suicidal phone calls: fight to reverse tax credit cuts

Call centre workers at a private tax credit cuts firm have to deal with suicidal claimants, photo by William Brawley (Creative Commons)

Call centre workers at a private tax credit cuts firm have to deal with suicidal claimants, photo by William Brawley (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Corinthia Ward, Birmingham Central Socialist Party

Concentrix, a private US firm used by HM Revenue and Customs to cut tax credit payments, has been receiving suicidal calls from claimants - as a result of losing their payments thrusting them deeper into poverty.

An anonymous Concentrix worker has spoken out against the firm. He highlighted not only the lack of training for its 600 staff, but also the high volume of desperate calls from people who rely and survive on tax credits. "People crying down the phone to you that they're down to their last bag of wipes, have no food in the fridge to feed their kids."

The Tories awarded Concentrix a £75 million contract to investigate potential fraudulent claimants. However, hundreds of low-income households have had their tax credits stopped without being forewarned, and without any time to refute the allegations.

Concentrix call centre staff have been at the receiving end of these highly stressful calls. The same whistleblower reported the company gives them no counselling or support. They are instead told to "have a smoke... you'll be fine" - and then expected to come back and deal with another 40 or 50 calls.

The Socialist Party demands the reversal of tax credit cuts, and of profiteering from public services. All workers should have proper training and support, backed up by trade union recognition to help hold management to account.

A £10 an hour minimum wage will ensure less people need to claim tax credits. And fund real living benefits for all as well.

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In The Socialist 12 October 2016:


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The Socialist inbox

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Tax credits:

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleScrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

triangleFight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

triangle30% of people on inadequate incomes in UK

triangleOrganise to reverse 28% rise in violence against retail workers

Tax:

triangleTories out - we need socialism!

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Seattle council's struggle against big business on wealth tax

triangleNew anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

Cuts:

triangleCardiff Central Socialist Party: What happens if councils set no-cuts budgets?

triangleCrowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby

triangleCable workers' Halloween picket line attempts to 'scare' management into talks

Claimants:

triangleUniversal credit = universal misery

triangleUniversal credit causes £24m rent arrears

Public services:

triangleBack Chris Baugh and Marion Lloyd for a fighting, democratic, lay-led union

Benefits:

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

Birmingham:

triangleThousands march against overnight closure of Shropshire A&E

HM Revenue and Customs:

triangleStrategic discussion needed after pay ballot

Minimum wage:

triangleCardiff Uber Eats couriers strike back against bosses

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