Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DISASTER DAY FOR DARLING; Blunder: Paul Gray, Who Has Quit, with Gordon Brown

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

DISASTER DAY FOR DARLING; Blunder: Paul Gray, Who Has Quit, with Gordon Brown

Article excerpt

THE Chancellor was rocked by a new crisis this afternoon over the lossof confidential bank details of 7.5million families.

Britain's most senior taxman, Paul Gray, quit his [pounds sterling]170,000-a-year job today ashead of HM Customs and Revenue in the wake of the Treasury blunder.

Alistair Darling, forced to defend his handling of the Northern Rock collapseyesterday, was making his second statement to the Commons in as many days.

It involves the loss of at least two special compact discs used for storingdata which contain the records of virtually every family in Britain with schoolage children.

The highly personal records list names, bank account details, dates of birth,addresses and possible tax status of the adult claimants. The names of 15million children are on the discs.

The news was part of a triple blow to Mr Darling as Northern Rock's shares wentinto freefall and new figures showed disappointing public finances.

HM Customs and Revenue is an arm of the Treasury, came under fire this monthwhen it emerged that it had lost the records of 15,000 taxpayers linked toStandard Life's pension fund.

It is understood that the data has been lost rather than stolen. Whitehallsources said there was no question of child benefit payments, which average [pounds sterling]30a week for a family with two children, being affected.

It is believed that ministers have known about the errors for more than a weekand are expected to face questions as to why they failed to reveal detailsuntil today.

The situation is seen as so serious that shadow chancellor George Osborne andLib-Dem Vince Cable were being briefed personally by Mr Darling. Tory MPMichael Fallon, the vicechairman of the Treasury select committee, said thatthe Government was partly to blame because of its 2005 decision to merge theInland Revenue and Customs and Excise. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.