Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero has challenged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to look again at the injustice of an arrangement that has seen the Government pocket billions of pounds from miners’ pensions, ahead of the Budget.
Gloria has been working with the National Union of Mineworkers’ to lobby the Government about the surplus sharing arrangement that is in place for the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.
The arrangement sees any surplus made by the scheme’s investments shared 50-50 between the Government – the scheme’s guarantor – and MPS members.
Thanks to this arrangement, the Government has made around £10 billion and it forecasts that it will make a further £51m in this financial year and the following two.
Gloria, the NUM and former miners think that it is time that the arrangement was renegotiated so that the miners and their widows benefit from the scheme’s success to a greater extent.
Ahead of the Budget, Gloria raised this issue with the Chancellor in the House of Commons.
She said: “Since 1994, the Government have received £10 billion of pension cash which could have benefited miners. A Treasury written answers says that a further £153 million will be pocketed in the next three years. Will the Chancellor use the Budget to look again at the injustice of the mineworkers’ pension scheme?”
The Chancellor said he would look at the figures.
Gloria and 22 other Labour MPs from former coalfield communities have also now received a reply from the trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme to a letter requesting a meeting between the two parties and the NUM.
The meeting would be to talk about the surplus sharing arrangement and whether the trustees would be willing to press the Government to renegotiate the terms.
The trustees have agreed to a meeting and a date for that is now being discussed.
Gloria said: “The Budget is the ideal time for the Government to look at this unjust arrangement which has seen them massively benefit from investments made with the hard-earned pension contributions of thousands of miners.
“I am still working hard to get a better deal for ex-miners and their widows and am pleased the trustees have agreed to meet with myself and other MPs. This is an important next step in getting them the pensions they deserve.”