TAX credit claimants have been given an extra week to renew their claim – because of industrial action by the PCS union.

An HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said: “HMRC appreciates that customers may find it more difficult to get through to the tax credits renewal phone line as a result of the industrial action.

“While customers who can are encouraged to use the new online renewal service, those that need to speak to an operator now have until Wednesday, August 6 to renew.”