LOW-INCOME Halton families will have to pay back £4.1m to the Government after receiving tax credit overpayments.
A total of 4,800 households across Runcorn and Widnes were overpaid in the 2004/5 financial year and will have to pay back the cash as a result.
Across Cheshire, 21,000 families received £17.2m too much, while in Merseyside £40.5m was overpaid to about 47,000 families.
Government ministers insist they are tackling the problem, caused partly by the failure of the system to acknowledge changes in family circumstances.
The Treasury said a shake-up of the system would help slash the rate by a third and insisted the system has helped cut child poverty.
Unveiling the figures, Treasury Chief Secretary Stephen Timms said 'a substantial package' had been introduced to solve the problems.
He said: 'We expect them to reduce overpayments by around one third.'
Claimants will be exempt from paying back overpayments due to official error.