Calls for probe over ex-miners’ tax bills

Alan Cummings
Alan Cummings

CALLS have been made for an investigation into how former miners were left owing hundreds of pounds in tax.

Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) has received more than a dozen calls within two days from worried former pitmen who had received PAYE calculations stating they owed between £300 and £900.

The problem appears to have affected those who were in receipt of contributions based on their employment support allowance and a mineworkers’ pension.

Alan Cummings, chairman of the DMA, said in previous years the tax was taken from the employment support allowance through the PAYE system without issue.

But it is believed there had been an error which meant the amount had not been taken from the members for the 2013/14 tax year.

HMRC has said it has sent out tax calculations, rather than tax demands.

Mr Cummings, a former NUM lodge secretary for Easington Colliery, said: “We now have people who have received tax demands for several hundred pounds and they want to know why the system has failed.

“This has caused a lot of shock and concern among people who aren’t on much money.

“This is affecting people who are often on particularly low incomes - it beggars belief that this has occurred.”

He is in contact with HMRC to find out why the problem happened and has appealed to any other ex-miners who have been affected to get in touch as the organisation works to establish the scale of the problem.

He has been in contact with Easington MP Grahame Morris asking him for support.

HMRC has also said money owed could be paid interest free from April until March next year using the PAYE system in 12 chunks.

It has said it is unable to comment on individual cases and anyone who has received a calculation they believe is incorrect can get in contact for help.