Doncaster MP Ed Miliband reissues call for government to return £1.2bn miners' pension surplus promised by PM

Doncaster MP Ed Miliband has joined another growing call for the government to hand over more than a billion pounds in pension surpluses to retired miners.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 1:18 pm
The controversy over the miners' pension fund surplus continues

Mr Miliband said the decision was ‘unjust’ and if approved, would have resulted in an uplift of £14 a week to 152,000 former miners including hundreds across the borough.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a promise in the run up to the 2019 election that the money would be returned.

Back in 1994, when the pension scheme was privatised, it was agreed the government would get 50 per cent of any surplus from the fund, in return for guaranteeing the value of the pensions would not decrease.

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As well as reviewing the 50 per cent sharing deal, the committee had called for the government to relinquish its entitlement to the £1.2bn Investment Reserve, and give it instead to the miners.

A letter sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which has been signed by 39 MPs including those across South Yorkshire, calls on the PM to enable ‘justice to former mineworkers and coalfield communities across the country’.

A previous cross-party report published by the BEIS committee earlier this year recommended the money should be returned but no action has been taken.

Mr Miliband said: “The recent Budget saw the government yet again fail to act on the injustice of money being denied to retired miners through the Mineworkers Pension Scheme.

“Boris Johnson personally promised during the election campaign to tackle this injustice, and he has broken that promise.

“This just shows once again that this government makes big promises to our community but simply cannot be trusted because it breaks these promises.

“Labour would do the right thing and return what’s due back to retired miners and their families. This is what fairness and justice demands. It is clear that it will only happen with a Labour government.”

A Government spokesman said: “We remain committed to protecting the pensions of mineworkers and ensuring they are paid their full entitlement.

“Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme members are receiving payments 33 per cent higher than they would have been thanks to the Government’s guarantee. On most occasions, the scheme has been in surplus, and scheme members have received bonuses in addition to their guaranteed pension.”