LLANELLI MS Lee Waters and MP Nia Griffith are backing a new report which recommends that nearly £1.2 billion should be paid into the Mineworkers Pension Scheme by the UK Government.
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee’s report branded the current scheme an “historic injustice”, with many ex-mineworkers struggling to make ends meet and still needing to work into older age.
Since the scheme was privatised in 1994, the UK Government has received some 50% of surpluses in its value, in return for a guarantee that the value of pensions will not decrease.
But campaigners point out that whilst the scheme has profited far more than originally envisaged, the UK Government has not paid any funds into the scheme in return.
Calling for this imbalance to be corrected, Lee Waters said:
“Since the 1990s the UK Government has lapped up some 50% of all the surpluses made on the mineworkers pension fund. It is only right that mineworkers who paid into this pot should benefit from the extra value it has made over time, not the UK Government. If Boris Johnson’s government are serious about levelling up beyond London and the South East, they should start by releasing this money and giving our former mineworkers the dignity and security they deserve in their retirement.”
Nia Griffith said:
“As one of the MPs who badgered the BEIS Committee back to do an investigation into the Mineworker’s Pension Scheme, I was very pleased when they agreed, and I very much welcome the report and the recommendations to amend the 50/50 surplus sharing arrangements in miners’ favour, and release £1.2 billion of surplus back into the pension pot. We now need the UK Government to act on this report and get the money out to former miners, including those in Llanelli and the Gwendraeth as soon as possible.