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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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Related links:

Tax credits:

triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

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

Tax:

triangleCuts drive council tax debt

triangleLewisham Socialist Students & Socialist Party: The battle against the Poll Tax

triangleEnd austerity. Fight for a living wage!

triangleThem & Us

Cuts:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: How can we win no-cuts councils?

triangleLeicester mayoral husting: only two choices - stop the cuts or make the cuts

triangleAusterity must go! Kick out the Tories - we need a Socialist Alternative

Claimants:

triangleTories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!

triangleUniversal Credit staff ballot for action

Public services:

trianglePCS elections: Support socialist candidates

Benefits:

triangleReal life on Universal Credit: "As soon as I get billed for my electric, I'm finished"

Birmingham:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The history of the Communist International

HM Revenue and Customs:

triangleVital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership

Minimum wage:

triangle20 years of the minimum wage: Fight for a real living wage for every worker

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