Barnsley MP blasts ministers over 'unfair' miners' pension scheme

A Barnsley MP has accused the Government of ripping off former miners through a state-backed pension scheme.

Stephanie Peacock is the Labour MP for Barnsley East.

Stephanie Peacock confronted ministers in a Commons debate on Thursday, where she called on the Government to “do right by retired miners and their families in my constituency and coalfield communities across the country”.

The Labour MP for Barnsley East demanded an immediate review of the surplus sharing scheme, which was agreed in 1994.

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It provides state guarantees for ex-miners in exchange for a 50 per cent share of any surplus.

Ms Peacock branded the arrangement “totally unfair” and asked the Government to consider a recent National Union of Mineworkers-commissioned report that suggested a 90:10 split in favour of the pensioners.

Business minister Claire Perry responded, saying: “We have spent more than £1 bn of Government money in the coalfield communities over the last 20 years, and we have committed an additional £70 million since 2010.”

She added: “We will continue to explore options and I am very happy to do that on a cross-party basis with all Members who would be interested in doing so.”