HMCR lose personal details of 7.5m families

| November 21, 2007 | 0 Comments

Britain’s most senior taxman, Paul Gray, has resigned from his £170,000 a year job as head of HM Customs and Revenue following the loss of confidential bank details of 7.5 million families.

Mr Gray was appointed by Gordon Brown as executive chairman of the HMRC this year. However, he has been criticised over the tax credits disaster where millions of poorer families have been forced to repay huge amounts following administrative errors.

It was Chancellor Alistair Darling’s second statement to the Commons this week. On Monday, he was forced to defend the way he dealt with the collapse of crisis-torn Northern Rock.

Two special compact discs have been lost and contain names, bank account details, dates of birth, addresses and possible tax status of the adult claimants as well as the names of 15 million children on the discs.

HM Customs and Revenue is a division of the Treasury which was already under attack after losing a disc containing personal details of 15,000 people. The disc contained names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and pension data from Standard Life. However, Standard Life said there is no proof that the discs had fallen into third party hands.

It is reported that ministers have known about the errors for over a week and are expected to come under fire as to why they neglected to reveal details so late after the event.

In a statement, Mr Gray said I am announcing that I will be standing down as HMRC chairman as a result of a substantial operational failure in the department.

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