Ex-miners around the UK say it is a great injustice that their pension fund, worth billions, has been siphoned off by successive governments.
In the latest development, the campaigners say a Freedom of Information request to the Government has proved their case.
Former Thoresby miner Mick Newton said: “We put a Freedom of Information request to the Government asking how much money the Government put in as a guarantee to the Mineworkers’ Pension fund since 1997 and they admitted they haven’t put any money in. We have it in black and white from the Treasury .
The answer to the group’s Freedom of Information request states: “ Over the period 1997 to 2015 there have not been any payments from HM Government as a result of the guarantee of the benefits on the MineWorkers Pension Scheme. Therefore, during this period the guarantee has not directly “cost” the government anything.”
Mick Newton added: The pension fund had a 9 billion contribution holiday from 1987-94. It is the greatest act of deception ever.”
“They said it was in our best interest for the pension to be ring fenced. The motive was to take our surplus.”
At the time the mineworkers pension campaign started in earnest last year a Government spokesman said: “The Government has given considerable financial support to the mining industry to date. Those who are members of the Mineworker’s Pension Scheme receive pensions approximately 30 per cent larger and these will continue to rise.
“The percentage of the excess pension pot that goes to Government is considered reasonable recompense for the past taxpayer investment in the scheme when the industry went through a period of public ownership.