MP demands pension justice for former miners

Jo Platt MP meeting Labour colleagues to discuss miners' pensions
Jo Platt MP meeting Labour colleagues to discuss miners' pensions

An MP from the borough has met with a senior figure in her party to demand justice for former mineworkers receiving their pensions.

Leigh parliamentary representative Jo Platt spoke to Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell to call for action over the scheme organising payments for ex-colliery workers.

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Ms Platt says that when British Coal was privatised in 1994 the Government agreed to take over as guarantor for the pension scheme in return for a 50 per cent stake of the surpluses.

Since then, that arrangement has led to the Government creaming off £4.4bn which opponents of the set-up like Ms Platt say should have gone instead to those who actually worked in the industry.

She called the amount of money raked in by the government “scandalous” and urged Mr McDonnell to include justice for colliery families in the party’s next manifesto.

She said: “Our ex-miners are the soul of our towns. They gave so much to build our community and fuel our country and we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their service.

“But for our proud miners to have been treated like this is a disgrace. Earlier this year the Commons unanimously passed a motion calling for a review of the scheme, but it has fallen on deaf ears and been ignored by the Conservative Government.

“When I speak to our ex-miners and their families who are struggling to make ends meet it is infuriating that this injustice is continuing with the Government pocketing billions.

“I am glad that the Shadow Chancellor shares our concern and remain hopeful that the next Labour manifesto will deliver justice for our proud ex-mining community”