Bassetlaw Council leader Simon Greaves slams government on its ‘unfair and unjust’ decision on Mineworkers Pension Schemes
Bassetlaw District Council has called on government to reconsider its ‘unjust and unfair’ decision that denies ex-miners from accessing £1.2billion of pension funds - that would have given a £14 increase to their weekly pension of £84.
A motion tabled by Council Leader, Coun Simon Greaves at September’s council meeting (September 23) expressed the Council’s disappointment after government rejected to give £1.2billion of pension funds to ex-miners.
In April, a review of the arrangement had been called by a Parliamentary Committee (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), but government described the scheme as ‘fair and beneficial’.
In the Committee’s report, they said that since privatisation of the Mineworkers Pension Schemes in 1994, the UK Government has received 50 per cent of surpluses, in return for a guarantee that the value of pensions would never decrease.
The government is expected to receive around £4.4billion from the arrangement and at least another £1.9billion on top of 50 per cent off future surpluses.
Coun Simon Greaves said: “It beggars belief that the Government is denying ex-miners the opportunity to access £1.2billion of pension funds, despite a review by a Parliamentary Committee calling for just that.
“Let’s not forget that for eight years British Coal did not pay any contributions to the Mineworkers Pension Schemes and that when these schemes closed, the Government benefits by taking 50 per cent of the surpluses, which will amount to about £8billion.
“When the average mineworkers pension is £84 a week it is a scandal that the Government has rejected the opportunity to do the right thing.
“They should re-consider this unjust and unfair decision.”