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HMRC pays parents nearly £1 million in compensation

By Rachel Lawler

Tax-free childcare compensation
HMRC has paid parents a total of £966,666 in compensation after continuing problems with the Childcare Service website.
The figure was revealed in response to a written question from Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. Ali asked how much compensation had been paid to parents as a result of the problems.
Elizabeth Truss, chief secretary to the treasury, confirmed that nearly £1 million has been paid to parents in lieu of tax-free childcare payments. She also said that £38,949 has been paid to parents to compensate for inconvenience and additional expenses.
Truss also confirmed that a total of 3,496 complaints have been made about technical issues with the online system.
Tax-free childcare and 30 hours
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Alliance, said: "We know that HMRC is working to resolve the long-running problems with the Childcare Service website, but this just isn't good enough.
"At the moment, applying for tax-free childcare and the 30 hours via the online system is a complete lottery – while some parents have been able to use the service without issue, others are still facing a range of technical problems often preventing them from being able to do the simplest things, from verifying their details to reconfirming their eligibility to simply logging into their account.
"Given that this system is meant to underpin two of the government's flagship childcare policies, clearly more needs to be done to rectify these ongoing problems. This is particularly true of tax-free childcare, given that the childcare voucher scheme is due to close to new entrants in April."
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