⚠️ This is a news story and may not be up to date. You can find the date it was published under the title. Our Tax Guides feature the latest up-to-date tax information and guidance.

Tax credits: the flagship and the icebergs

Published on 26 September 2005

The Government envisaged its tax credits system as a flagship reform of the tax and benefits regime. Yet a series of highly critical reports from welfare rights and parliamentary bodies has shown up the unfitness of the flagship for the waters in which it aspired to sail. Already it has encountered obstacles, some of which are icebergs with the greater part of their mass still invisible below the surface. Is repair possible? Or is the flagship structurally unsound and in need of redesign.


At a seminar on 15 September 2005 hosted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), John Andrews and Robin Williamson for LITRG argued that the first question can be answered in the affirmative. But they warned that the necessary repairs are both extensive and expensive, requiring both changes to computer systems and greater human intervention than hitherto.

For the text of the background paper presented at the IFS seminar, see the link below. See also here for details of other speakers at the seminar.

Contact Name: Robin Williamson (Tel: 0844 579 6700; Fax: 0844 579 6701)

To open the file click below:
Flagship and icebergs - background paper


Tax guides

Share this page