Councillor Amanda Hack, the Labour parliamentary candidate for North West Leicestershire, has responded to new information that the government has profited £420 million from the miners’ pension scheme over three years, calling it ‘scandalous’ and ‘shameful’.

Tens of thousands of miners who invested in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) have been affected by an ‘arbitrary’ arrangement established in the 1980s which sees the government continue to profit at their expense.

In 2021 a cross-party committee of MPs advised that the government should stop taking funds from the scheme and pay back what miners were owed.  The recommendations were rejected and new data released to the BBC shows the government has received three annual payments of £142.4m since then.

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 £4.8 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. The inquiry which took place 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”.

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.

Cllr Amanda Hack said:

“The news that the government has taken £420 million from miners’ pension funds since 2021 is nothing short of scandalous. After being advised that the agreement should be revised and that the money should be returned, the government has continued to take from local people’s hard-earned pensions.  The money does not belong to the government, it belongs to the miners and their families.

“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.”

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.”

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