Catherine McKinnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, responding to the National Audit Office’s report on HMRC’s customer service performance, said:
“This report shows the impact and cost to taxpayers of this Government’s cuts to HMRC staff which go too far and too fast.
“6.5 million people waited on hold for more than ten minutes last year, and spent £33m on call charges doing so, while a shocking 20 million calls weren’t answered at all. And the percentage of phone calls answered so far this year is less than last year.
“These costly delays are unacceptable for taxpayers and businesses trying to give HMRC information to ensure they are paying the right amount of tax or receiving the correct level of tax credits.
“With big changes on the way next year, such as real time information and further cuts to tax credits and child benefit, I fear HMRC will struggle to cope. Ministers urgently need to get a grip.”