Amanda Hack, the Labour parliamentary candidate for North West Leicestershire, is calling for justice for miners affected by a billion-pound pension scandal. Thousands of miners who invested in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) have been short-changed for nearly three decades while the government continues to profit from the arrangement. The Labour Party is demanding the government review the arrangements, including the reserve fund and surplus sharing deal, and does not believe the government should profit from miners’ pensions.

The government has taken over £4.4 billion from the surplus fund since 1994 despite not contributing to it since 1987. The MPS surplus sharing arrangement was originally established as a 50/50 split between miners and the government. In 2021, a cross-party parliamentary inquiry recommended that the £1.2 billion from the reserve fund should be returned to pensioners and that the sharing arrangement should be reviewed.

The inquiry report, published in April 2021, states that, “the government failed to conduct due diligence during the 1994 negotiations, and was negligent by not taking actuarial advice. There was no empirical analysis or evaluation to inform or support the 50:50 split, and it therefore remains arbitrary”.

The Conservative government has failed to implement the inquiry recommendations. Labour MPs including Ed Miliband have been fighting a long-running campaign demanding a better deal for miners alongside organisations such as the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the UK Miners Pension Scheme Association for Justice and Fair Play.

Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero said:

“The original decision made by the Conservative government was not fair or just. We are determined to put pressure on the government to finally deliver justice for mineworkers. It’s just plain wrong that miners and their families are seeing their pensions raided in this way.”

Amanda Hack, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for North West Leicestershire said:

“This is a shameful injustice affecting many retired miners’ families in North West Leicestershire.  Mining is an important part of our local heritage and it is disgraceful that the community has been treated so unfairly. Families are struggling to make ends meet during the cost of living crisis and this extra money could make a huge difference. The Conservative government is refusing to do the right thing, but Labour is determined to deliver a fair resolution.”

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