It has been widely reported that the MP Nicky Morgan, who is chair of the Treasury Select Committee, has written to HMRC’s Chief Executive to take him to task over problems with the new Childcare Service. This appears to be in anticipation of consideration by the TSC.
Parents are unable to access their digital services account, along with childcare providers; and there are also apparently “technical difficulties” when frustrated users try to telephone HMRC’s dedicated helpline.
Questions of HMRC include:
- The number of users who have successfully completed an application for a Childcare Service account
- The number of users who started an application, but haven’t returned to it
- The number of people who have been unable to access their Childcare Service account
- The proportion receiving error messages
- The number of hours the website has been down since April
- How many complaints have been made about the website and the nature of complaints
- The average wait time for accessing the helpline and the proportion of abandoned calls, and
- The amount of compensation paid to those unable to use the site to pay childcare providers
HMRC has in the past claimed in its call-centre statistics that all helpline calls which terminated before being answered had been ‘dealt with successfully’. The clear majority of callers are far more likely to hang up out of sheer frustration.