Private welfare contractor Concentrix blocks BBC programme on Twitter after exposé

The Victoria Derbyshire programme's Twitter account appeared to be blocked by Concentrix

Jon Stone
Wednesday 14 September 2016 14:38
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Concentrix runs fraud and error systems for HMRC
Concentrix runs fraud and error systems for HMRC

A private contractor running part of the benefits system has blocked a flagship BBC television programme on Twitter after the show ran a story about its alleged failures.

Concentrix – which has been accused of stopping innocent people’s tax credits – was the subject of an investigation by the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday morning.

HMRC on Tuesday night announced that it wouldn’t renew Concentrix’s contract in May 2017 after a string of failures allegedly left people out of pocket.

On Wednesday morning the Victoria Derbyshire programme’s twitter account wrote: “That'll teach us. Concentrix have blocked us after our exclusive tax credits story.”

The programme posted a screenshot of the company’s page showing they were blocked.

A Concentrix spokesperson defended the company’s record and said it had saved taxpayers £300m in fraud and error throughout the course of its contract.

“We have operated professionally at all times and within the guidance set by HMRC. The HMRC statement not to renew the contract attacks our professional credibility, and the commitment of our staff who have performed determinedly, despite the issues with HMRC policies and procedures,” he said.

“In addition, throughout the contract, Concentrix has employed good hard-working people within the UK, at Concentrix expense, in order to staff phone lines and handle customer calls which were agreed by HMRC and were based on HMRC assumptions.

“To be clear, we have answered significantly more calls than planned with HMRC. Throughout the contract we have not been incentivised to make wrong decisions for claimants and in-fact would be penalised heavily for failure to adhere to HMRC policies and procedures.

“Through the term of the contract we are pleased to have saved the taxpayer nearly £300m in authentic confirmed tax fraud and error which otherwise would have cost the taxpayer money.

The Independent has contacted Concentrix for comment on this story.

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