CARMARTHENSHIRE MP Jonathan Edwards has welcomed a report by the BEIS Select Committee into the great miners’ pension rip off which calls on the British Government to urgently review the 50:50 surplus arrangement agreed in 1994 between Scheme Trustees and the Treasury.
The report also calls on the British Government to pay £1.2bn in reparations back into the Scheme to benefit former miners and their families directly.
Mr Edwards said: “Since being elected to the House of Commons in 2010 I have consistently raised the plight of the grave injustice suffered by miners and their families as a result of the rip off of surpluses from the Miners Pension Scheme by the British Government.
“The initial deal was struck between the British Government and the Trustees of the Scheme in 1994 and has been consistently ratified by both Tory and Labour Westminster governments, despite the fact that the British Government has not had to put a single penny into the Scheme since the arrangement was struck.
“For acting as guarantor, the Treasury receives 50% of surpluses, way in advance of the risk faced by the British Government. They have advanced nearly £5 billion in payments.
“The Report indicates that the British Government are due another £1.9bn in payments on top of the 50% of all future surpluses.
“This money should be going to former miners’ and their families. I am delighted the Select Committee has agreed with those backbench MPs who have been making the case for a recalculation.
“Furthermore, I am delighted that the Select Committee has called for the £1.2bn the British Government is due to receive from the Investment Reserves directly into the Scheme.
“I am delighted to have played my small part in fighting this case, despite the vitriolic attacks of the local Labour party who support current arrangements.
“Their position on this issue shows once again that their priority is protecting their Westminster bosses as opposed to standing up for the communities of Carmarthenshire.”
The late Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis also campaigned for years for justice for the ex-miners.
Retired miner Ken Sullivan said: “We worked hard for over four years to collect the signatures needed to get us this far. I would like to thank the people of South Wales who signed our petition.
“We asked every MP in the south Wales coalfield to help.
“I was disappointed with Labour MPs who seemingly refused to help us just because Plaid Cymru had.”
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