Troubled outsourcer Capita accidentally charged 17,000 former miners in the UK tens of thousands of pounds in extra tax, and has blamed the error on a change to HM Revenue & Customs' online PAYE portal.
Chris Kitchen, general secretary of the country's National Union of Mineworkers, told The Register that Capita should have properly tested the new system before taking it live.
"And someone at HMRC should have picked up the area and applied common sense to pensions being hit with tax demands of £50,000 when they shouldn't have had to pay anything."
Capita won the contract to administer miners' pensions at the end of last year. However, Kitchen said HMRC brought in the new automated online system to meet incoming data protection regulations.
HMRC said: "Where we are provided with incorrect information, we work hard to put matters right. We will ensure that no customer will lose out as a result of this."
A Capita spokesperson said: "Following a change to HM Revenue & Customs' online PAYE portal, an incorrect update was made in processing information for members of the Mineworkers Pension scheme.
"This issue has been resolved and all members affected will shortly receive letters to advise that they do not need to take any action.
"We sincerely apologise for any concern and inconvenience this has caused."
Capita is no stranger to criticism when it comes to administering systems. Back in 2016, it was slammed for its mishandling of the Army's recruitment system; while the UK government spending watchdog is currently probing its £700m NHS contract.
The Register recently revealed that the firm experienced almost 60 separate outages at its data centres in the space of just half a year. ®