Midlothian MSP welcomes support for Mineworkers Pension review
Local MSP Christine Grahame has welcomed the Scottish Government’s Minister for Public Finance writing to the UK Government to encourage it to review the Mineworkers Pension Scheme following a report by the UK Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.
Ms Grahame (SNP) has also lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament and is seeking a debate. She said: “I hope that the UK Government will consider the committee’s report as a matter of urgency and look at making this situation fairer for those concerned.”
The scheme, set-up in 1994, meant a 50/50 split in surplus sharing between miners and the government.
In practice this means that to date the UK Government has received £4.4 billion, with at least a further £1.9 billion due, whilst paying nothing into the fund. In contrast many of those in receipt of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme are struggling to make ends meet.
The UK Parliament committee therefore recommended amending the 50/50 surplus sharing arrangements in the miners’ favour and immediately giving the £1.2 billion currently held in the Investment Reserve to former miners, however the UK Government has yet to confirm it will act on these recommendations.
Ms Grahame added: “I’m pleased to hear that the Scottish Government will write to the UK Government to give its support to the calls for a review of the Mineworkers Pension Scheme. I know the Welsh government has done likewise.
“That the UK Government continues to benefit so heavily from the pension scheme with no input into it is not something that should sit right with people when many of the beneficiaries of the fund, some in my own constituency, are struggling to make ends meet including in former mining communities in Midlothian.”