Another scandal has hit the government. It was revealed earlier today that the personal details of around 25million child benefit claims went missing from the offices of HM Revenue and Customs.
The Chancellor Alistair Darling was forced to admit these damning findings in Parliament. The information, which included bank details of around seven million families, were lost. Darling said that it was “…. an extremally serious failure”, and blamed mistakes by junior staff for the problem.
Before the news had broken of the scandal, the Chairman of Revenue and Customs, Paul Gray, resigned his position. There had been reports that government ministers had known of the situation for around ten days but didn’t take any action. There are also heightened fears that the lost personal details may fall into the wrong hands.
This is more bad news for Darling. He has been criticised for his role in the Northern Rock bank debacle (which I posted earlier), the increase in petrol tax… and now this. More mismanagement and incompetence. This scandal goes far beyond the mistakes made by the government….. many claimants, particularly the poorest, will suffer great hardship as a result as officials try to recover some of those lost records and reclaim any money paid out to them.
The government’s fiscal management record is finally being exposed for the sham that it really is.