DISABLED Remploy workers’ final pay packets were hit by a 50% tax rate in what was branded “a final insult” to the sacked staff.
The factory at Hickmans Road, in Birkenhead, was closed last month, one of 27 such sites to close this year putting 1,700 disabled people out of work.
The Wirral factory employed 150 people just a few years ago, but had seen its numbers drop to around 30.
Union officials revealed that workers’ final pay slips were hit by an emergency 50% rate tax – placing them in the same category as millionaires – after a blunder by Revenue and Customs.
Workers will now have to wait while they fill in forms to try to reclaim the cash, some thing which could take months.
Unite official Kevin Hep worth said: “These people have been stuck in the same tax bracket as the Tories’ millionaire mates.”
The mistake happened because workers were issued with P45s before their final payments, which sent them into the emergency tax band at 40 to 50%.
Wirral West MP Esther McVey, who had tried to save the factory, answered a question on the subject in the House of Commons.
Ms McVey, recently appointed Minister for the Disabled in the government reshuffle, said: “We have worked on the issue immediately.
“Everybody affected will have their redundancy pay and, therefore, money.
“It is right to say that a 50% emergency taxation rate was put on that.
“We have spoken to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and to the personal case workers they will all get, who will help them fill in the forms and get the money back as soon as possible.”
The remaining 18 Remploy sites also have an uncertain future with union leaders set to discuss it with Ms McVey this week.