‘I used to be pressured to go to a meals financial institution’ | EUROtoday

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Victoria Arthur Victoria Arthur and family Victoria Arthur

Victoria Arthur and two of her youngsters

When Victoria Arthur’s Child Benefit was not paid on Monday, her rapid concern was that she wouldn’t be capable to afford nappies and milk for her 4 month-old daughter.

Like many, the mum-of-three from Romford depends on the £238 she will get every month to pay for necessities for her youngsters.

But a fee processing error at HMRC has meant that round 500,000 claimants didn’t obtain their cash as deliberate, sparking panic for a lot of households.

Unable to succeed in the tax company and with nothing in her checking account, Victoria was pressured to name the council to get a meals financial institution voucher which she spent on system, meals and cereal.

“I couldn’t believe it when I woke up on Monday,” she advised the BBC.

“There wasn’t a penny [of Child Benefit] in my account and no explanation, no automated text message.

“I attempted calling HMRC however they weren’t accepting calls. It was so aggravating. We have been left at the hours of darkness.”

The tax agency has apologised and said the missed sum will be paid on Wednesday.

It also said anyone who incurred a loss as a result of the glitch can apply for redress through its complaints system.

But there has been an outpouring of anger on social media. Some parents have said they were left unable to afford food or pay bills because of the error.

HMRC has also been criticised over its communications after telling worried parents not to call its helplines on Monday and to check social media for updates instead.

‘I was worrying about it all day’

John Pain John Pain and familyJohn Pain

Single parent John Pain said he was unable to get answers from HMRC

John Pain, a single parent of three children – two of whom have special needs – only realised that his Child Benefit had not been paid when he got a notification from his bank saying that a direct debit had not gone through.

Initially, he was confused.

Then he panicked.

The 32-year-old relies on Child Benefit to pay for his daughter’s ballet classes, food bills and days out with the kids.

“The final yr as cash’s bought tighter, I’m utilizing it increasingly to pay sure payments too,” John told the BBC.

John was also unable to get answers from HMRC directly, much to his frustration.

“I needed to discover out what had occurred on Facebook they usually didn’t say ‘we’re going to type this out within the subsequent couple of days’, it was simply ‘hold checking social media’. So I used to be worrying about all of it day.”

Luckily he was given breathing space to pay the direct debit he missed on Monday, although he was fined for a late bill payment and will have to claim it back though HMRC’s complaints process.

People can claim Child Benefit if they are responsible for bringing up a child under 16, or under 20 if they are in approved education or training.

Only one parent gets the payment per child, and there is no limit to how many children you can claim for.

The benefit – which is usually paid every four weeks – is vital for many families on low incomes. Parents can claim £25.60 a week for one child and £16.95 for each subsequent child.


Megan Dragon, 26, said she was “shocked” when her benefit did not arrive because it is usually “actually dependable”.

The mum-of-four from Northamptonshire, who does not work, said the money was “essential” as her husband’s income alone was “not sufficient to cowl us”.

“We want it for gasoline, meals, our mortgage,” Megan told the BBC.

The family almost missed a mortgage payment on Monday because of the delay but managed to get a three-day extension from their lender.

Megan also struggled to work out why the benefit had not turned up, only finding out after stumbling on a thread on the networking site, Mumsnet.

“I used to be upset and aggravated with HMRC because it appeared that folks had warned them about this on Friday night and Saturday morning they usually’d ignored it. It was most likely avoidable.”

She mentioned the household was now “again on observe”.

“We are in a extremely lucky place, however others aren’t so fortunate.”