A LETTER written by Blaenau Gwent MP Nick Smith which calls for a fairer pension deal for ex-miners and their families has so far received support from 86 MPs, many from former coalfield areas.

The letter, which has been co-signed by Gloria De Piero MP and Stephanie Peacock MP and supported by a further 84 cross-party members, calls for the Government to take forward proposals set out by Mineworkers Pension Scheme (MPS) trustees “at the earliest possible opportunity”.

The proposals include consolidating existing pension bonuses and ensuring that miners have higher guaranteed payments.

The letter also repeats calls for a formal review of the sharing arrangements which currently sees the Government taking a 50% share of any surplus generated, in exchange for acting as a guarantor.

During a debate, held earlier this month, Minister for Business and Industry Andrew Stephenson said he would be meeting the trustees to discuss their proposals. He also said he had written to the Treasury to give “full support” to the trustees’ proposals but acknowledged that a review of the 50/50 split was not currently on the table.

Nick Smith MP said: “We have been told that the Treasury has been encouraged to adopt the trustees’ proposals. What we need now, and what this letter calls for, is action.

“We need clarity around the current proposals and we must also ensure that a review of the 50/50 split is not brushed under the carpet.

“The Government has received more than £4bn from the scheme since 1994 without paying a penny in. This is wrong. Particularly given that we know some ex-miners are getting by on less than £80 a week.

“Pensioners are subsidising the Government.

“All ex-miners and their families want is fair play and a fair deal for the decades of dangerous work they carried out. We must repay that debt to them.”

Dear Minister,

We are writing to you regarding the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and proposals which have been made by the Trustees regarding longer-term protection for pension bonuses.

These proposals would consolidate existing pension bonuses and ensure that miners have greater financial security and higher guaranteed payments – both of which are essential to start ensuring the fairer deal for retired miners and their families which so many Members emphasised during the debate earlier this month.

We would therefore encourage the Government to take forward these proposals at the earliest possible opportunity. At the same time, we would repeat our call for a formal review of the current sharing arrangements as outlined in the Backbench Business Committee debate motion which passed the House on June 10th.

During your frontbench response, you referred to the proposals and stated that you would “write to the Treasury encouraging their adoption”.

We would be grateful if you could therefore confirm by which date they are likely to be adopted and at which point they will begin to apply to Scheme members.

Yours sincerely,

Nick Smith MP  /   Gloria De Piero MP /  Stephanie Peacock MP

Debbie Abrahams MP


Nigel Adams MP


Mike Amesbury MP


Tonia Antoniazzi MP


Sir Kevin Barron MP


Clive Betts MP


Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP


Ben Bradley MP


Kevin Brennan MP


Andrew Bridgen MP


Alan Brown MP


Chris Bryant MP


Richard Burden MP


Alan Campbell MP


Ronald Campbell MP


Sir William Cash MP


Sarah Champion MP


Douglas Chapman MP


Jenny Chapman MP


Ann Clwyd MP


Vernon Coaker MP


Julie Cooper MP


Yvette Cooper MP


Alex Cunningham MP


Wayne David MP


Tan Dhesi MP


Rosie Duffield MP


Jonathan Edwards MP


Clive Efford MP


Julie Elliott MP


Chris Elmore MP


Charlie Elphicke MP


Chris Evans MP


Caroline Flint MP


Hugh Gaffney MP


Mary Glindon MP


Helen Goodman MP


Bill Grant MP


Lillian Greenwood MP


Nia Griffith MP


John Grogan MP


David Hanson MP


Carolyn Harris MP


Mike Hill MP


Sharon Hodgson MP


Lesley Laird MP


Ian Lavery MP


Emma Lewell-Buck MP


Ian Lucas MP


Dan Jarvis MP


Andrea Jenkyns MP


Gerald Jones MP


Helen Jones MP


Kevan Jones MP


Susan Elan Jones MP


Stephen Kinnock MP


John Mann MP


Conor McGinn MP


Ian Mearns MP


Ed Miliband MP


Jessica Morden MP


Grahame Morris MP


Madeleine Moon MP


Ian Murray MP


Lisa Nandy MP


Alex Norris MP


Albert Owen MP


Toby Perkins MP


Jo Platt MP


Christina Rees MP


Danielle Rowley MP


Dennis Skinner MP


Ruth Smeeth MP


Owen Smith MP


Gareth Snell MP


Alex Sobel MP


Jo Stevens MP


Mark Tami MP


Nick Thomas-Symonds MP


Thelma Walker MP


Martin Whitfield MP


Phil Wilson MP


Dame Rosie Winterton MP

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