Miners pension campaigners optimistic after meeting minister

Miners campaigning for a fairer pension deal say they are cautiously optimistic after meeting politicians at Westminster.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 4:18 pm
Minworkrs pension campaigners, from left: Barry Cox from Kent, Mick Newton of Mansfield, Norman Moore of Doncaster. Campaign organiser Les Moore shakes hands with Under-Secretary of State for Industry & Energy Richard Harrington, with Doncaster MP Ed Milliband.

The meeting on Tuesday follows the handing in of a 100,000 name petition calling for the Government to end the arrangement which sees them take a 50-50 split of the billions profit made by the mineworker’s pension fund.

Former miners met with Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Richard Harrington, Mansfield MP Ben Bradley and Doncaster MP Ed Milliband.

Campaigner Mick Newton said: “The meeting with the Minister was very positive and very productive.

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“There seemed to be genuine concern and a recognition of the need to secure a better deal for Mineworkers and Widows.

“There was a willingness to explore and progress our proposals by all involved in the meeting.

“At this stage I think it is fair to say that we are cautiously optimistic that we will secure some improvements to our Pension arrangements, and we hope those improvements will be progressed sooner rather than later”.

“I would like to say a big Thank You to the Chad and everyone who has contributed to our campaign over the past four years.

We have come along way since 2015 and hopefully that support will be justified.”

Ben Bradley, MP for Mansfield and Warsop, says he has continued campaigning on behalf of former Mineworkers in support of changes to the terms of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS).

The MP said:“The MPS has been really high on my agenda since I became the MP for Mansfield and Warsop. I’m glad I’m able to make local issues a top priority down in Westminster.

I’ve spoken out in Parliament before and held meetings with both Ministers and Trustees in support of changes to the terms of the scheme. We need to recognise that Government has done far better out of it than they could have imagined. It’s only right that that we tip the scales back in favour of Mansfield’s mineworkers.

I’m pleased that I was able to support the mineworkers yesterday and it was a brilliant opportunity to raise our concerns about the MPS sharing arrangements directly with the Minister. I know that Richard Harrington MP has taken all of the information on board and I’ll continue to put the pressure on him in the coming weeks.”

Former Labour leader Ed Milliband added: ““For too long now miners and their families have suffered a great injustice. It is time for this injustice to end.

“It was very important that the Minister heard first-hand about the deep unfairness around the miners’ pension fund and it was clear that he took the concerns seriously.

“This meeting was just one step on the road of getting justice for former miners. I will continue to work with campaigners and fellow parliamentarians to finally right this historic wrong.”