Prime Minister quizzed by MPs over promise to Chad in Mansfield regarding mineworkers’ pension scheme
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been quizzed over a promise to your Chad regarding returning pensions cash to miners.
The Prime Minister made the pledge ahead of the 2019 General Election in Mansfield – but said he would have to check up on his quotation to the ‘Mansfield Chap’ when asked about it today.
Mr Johnson had made the vow on a second visit to Mansfield to answer questions – having only taken one question from the Chad on a previous visit.
When miners signed up to the scheme in 1994, they were told by the government ‘no more than £2 billion’ was needed from the pot to guarantee its future.
However, campaigners have hit out at successive governments after an accepted figure of more than £4.5bn was taken from the pot over the last 25 years – meaning some miners and their families were not receiving ample funds for their investment.
Mr Johnson was quizzed over his promise when he appeared before the Commons Liaison Committee today.
Darren Jones, Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee chairman, said: “My final question, Prime Minister, is about my committee’s inquiry into the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.
“We called for 100 per cent of the profits from that pension scheme to go to the pensioners, instead of the Government pocketing 50 per cent of the surplus, as it has done historically.
“During the 2019 General Election, in Mansfield, you said, and I’m quoting here, ‘I want to tell the Mansfield Chap categorically that we will make sure that no Mansfield miner, or any other miner signed up to Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme, is out of pocket. We will make sure that all their cash is fully protected and returned. I have looked into it and we will ensure that’s done’.
“But Prime Minister, you rejected my committee’s proposals to return those profits to the pensioners.
“I’m not sure why you said to those voters why you had looked into it and why you’d return all their cash, when since, your government has clearly not done either.
“Did you mislead those voters in 2019?”
Mr Johnson replied: “I can tell you Mr Jones that I certainly didn’t wish to give those voters any false impression.”
Mr Jones said: “You said specifically you had looked into it and would ensure it would be done. You said it was categorical, that suggests there was some thought to it.”
And Mr Johnson replied: “I will have to get back you on my quotation in the Mansfield Chap and I will write to you as soon as you can.”