Belfast Telegraph

Concentrix in clear over tax credits row, says firm's Northern Ireland chief

By John Mulgrew

Business services giant Concentrix has been "vindicated" over claims it botched a tax credit outsourcing plan that led to a backlog of 180,000 cases, its boss here has claimed.

Philip Cassidy, senior vice president at Concentrix, was speaking as it unveiled a £14m office at the former Maysfield Leisure Centre in Belfast.

The company, which employs around 1,400 here, is set to expand its workforce as a result of the new development.

However, at the beginning of this year Concentrix faced criticism over how it handled the outsourcing of benefits.

It was brought in by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to cut fraud and error in the benefit system, but there were complaints that claimants wrongly had their benefits cut, and people were unable to get through on the phones.

Mr Cassidy told a Westminster committee he "absolutely" did not accept that the failure of customer service was solely down to the firm.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, he said he believed the firm has been "vindicated" over the handling over the contract.

He said: "I think appearing in front of the committee allowed us to put our side of story... I think in the end the select committee realised we had done the right things as far as our processes allowed.

"From that perspective, I think the select committee vindicated Concentrix."

The firm's second office in Belfast at Maysfield complements the existing one at Fountain Street.

"We are around about 1,400 people and have capacity for significantly more," Mr Cassidy said.

"We believe we have significant growth plans. Putting £14m into this facility is a great commitment to Belfast and Northern Ireland."

Concentrix has a range of clients, including those in the technology, financial and retail sectors.

"It gives us additional capacity and we have just gone live with one of our clients... that gave us growth, and they have growth plans as well," he added.

"It's meant extra jobs... that one was 25 people, but (we are) scheduled to grow further."

Belfast Telegraph