General Election 2019: Labour pledge to boost ex-miners' pensions

The Labour party has said it would "rebalance" the minerworkers pension scheme, a week after Jeremy Corbyn visited former mineworks in Midlothian with candidate Danielle Rowley.
The Labour party has said it would "rebalance" the minerworkers pension scheme, a week after Jeremy Corbyn visited former mineworks in Midlothian with candidate Danielle Rowley.
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Retired miners would receive a pension boost under a Labour government, it was claimed today.

The party has announced it would restructure the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme, to end the "historic injustice of the unfair distribution of bonuses" brought in by the John Major Conservative government.

It claims that after privatisation of British Coal in 1994, any surplus in the pension scheme was shared 50-50 between the miners and government, with an estimated £3bn going into Treasury coffers.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a "categorical" pledge to former miners that would receive their "fair share" of the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme. His announcement was made following an ongoing battle between the government and the Mineworkers' Pension Campaign to receive a fairer share of the pension pot.

Today Labour said it would "rebalance" the ratio of distribution to 90/10 in favour of mineworkers, which would boost the incomes of thousands of ex-miners who receive an average of £84 a week in pension payment.

Danielle Rowley, Labour's candidate in Midlothian, said: "As someone who has grown up in a mining community, I have seen first hand the struggle that many miners have gone through. The closure of coal mines by the Thatcher government decimated communities like Midlothian and left many miners out of work and out of pocket.

"The privatisation of British Coal in 1994 and the subsequent agreement on bonuses has done nothing to help those miners while the government has siphoned over £3 billion in bonuses. When the average miner lives on a pension of just £84 a week, that simply cannot be right.

"I am delighted that Labour is offering real change for miners the length and breadth of the UK. Our policy of splitting bonuses 90/10 in favour of miners could dramatically change the lives of thousands of ex-miners across Scotland."