Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blair Sorry for 'Distress' over Tax Credits Blunder; PRIMAROLO ACCUSED OF MISLEADING MPs IN SHAMBLES THAT COULD COST [Pounds Sterling]1bn

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Blair Sorry for 'Distress' over Tax Credits Blunder; PRIMAROLO ACCUSED OF MISLEADING MPs IN SHAMBLES THAT COULD COST [Pounds Sterling]1bn

Article excerpt

Byline: JASON BEATTIE

TONY Blair today apologised for the tax credits shambles as it emerged Treasury blunders will cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Prime Minister said he was sorry for the "hardship or distress" endured by some families as a result of the fiasco. The apology came as Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo announced she was abandoning plans to claw back some of the [pounds sterling]1.9 billion overpaid to poor families.

A scathing report by the Ombudsman, Ann Abrahams, revealed how families had suffered significant "worry and distress" after being forced to return money to the Treasury, even though they were not responsible for the overpayment.

The report prompted opposition MPs to call for the resignation of Ms Primarolo, the Treasury minister responsible for the flagship scheme. She today accepted "problems-had not been dealt with as well as they should be."

She promised to write off all overpayments caused by IT or administrative error, a move that will cost the taxpayer up to [pounds sterling]600 million. …

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