Tax Credits: Parliamentary Committees

There is a Commons Select Committee for each government department, examining three aspects: spending, policies and administration.

These departmental committees have a minimum of 11 members, who decide upon the line of inquiry and then gather written and oral evidence. These members are elected by other MPs. Findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee’s recommendations.

Some Select Committees have a role that crosses departmental boundaries such as the Public Accounts Committee.

Treasury Committee

The Treasury Committee, amongst other things, examines the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury and HMRC. Therefore, the tax credits system gets a regular review by this Committee.

Current members of this Committee are:

Reports from the current session of Parliament can be found here. 

Reports for prior sessions can be found here.

Public Accounts Committee

The Public Accounts Committee is one of the most powerful parliamentary committees as it looks across government and is mainly concerned with value-for-money of government spending judged by economy, effectiveness and efficiency. It gets involved with tax credits primarily when the National Audit Office reviews how HMRC are running the system.

Current members of this Committee are:

Reports from the current session of Parliament can be found here.

Reports for prior sessions can be found here.

Work and Pensions Committee

The Work and Pensions Committee, amongst other things, examines the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department of Work and Pensions. Although having no standing in relation to tax credits the Committee must understand the relationship between tax credits and the welfare benefits administered by the DWP.

Current members of this Committee are:

Reports from the current session of Parliament can be found here.

Reports for prior sessions can be found here.

Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee examines constitutional issues and the quality and standards of administration within the Civil Service and scrutinises the reports of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Committee can therefore be involved in 'benefits' issues such as tax credits.

Current members of this Committee are:

Reports from the current session of Parliament can be found here.

Reports for prior sessions can be found here.

Committees established by Statute

From time to time various statutes provide that Committees should be established to perform specific roles, generally to protect the interests of users of government services.

Updated 11 April 2017