Grahame Morris MP calls on Government to give miners a fair share of pension scheme profits
Easington MP Grahame Morris has called on the Government to review a miners’ pension scheme and give ex-miners a fair share of profits.
Mr Morris MP led a Backbench Business Debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday after more than 100,000 people signed a petition about the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme surplus sharing arrangements.
Following the privatisation of the coal industry in 1994, the UK government agreed to guarantee miners’ pensions would not fall in cash terms, in exchange for a 50/50 share of the scheme’s profits between miners and ministers.
But Mr Morris, the son of a miner, says it was agreed without reference to pension advice and the Government has collected £4.4 billion as a result of split.
He said: “An equal share is not a fair share, and there is no justification for the Government to take billions of pounds from the pockets of miners and their widows.
“The risks to the Government are marginal, and they have never had to put any money into the scheme.”
The pension fund was created through miners’ payments.
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Mr Morris has been contacted by a number of constituents over the issue.
He added: “They sacrificed their health and wellbeing in the pits to build the nation’s wealth.
“We are not asking for special favours, but simply a fair share of the pension pot that miners built up through decades of working in the industry.”
Mr Morris said a Labour government would commit to an immediate review of the pension scheme.
He has previously submitted an Early Day Motion on the scheme to try to get a debate in Parliament In the motion he urged the Government to enter into open and fair negotiations with the pension scheme’s trustees.
, and called the surplus sharing arrangement ‘grossly disproportionate’.