Ex-miners to receive a major pensions boost

FORMER miners received a huge boost last week after winning a seven per cent increase to their pension payments.

Their payments will rise by 11 per cent instead of four per cent this autumn, the Treasury confirmed.

The increase comes after pressure led by MPs for the Government to bring forward bonus protection measures in the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme from 2024 to 2022.

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Trustees of the scheme were “delighted” with the rise which will help members at a “critical time”.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey (pictured) has long campaigned for ex-miners and their widows, calling for years for changes to the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.

He added: “After sustained pressure from Labour MPs across our region, the Government has finally acted to offer greater support for ex-miners.

“This change will see ex-miners’ pension payments better protected against inflation, a change they will now benefit from this autumn and much sooner than originally planned.

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“While the Government is distracted by the Tory leadership battle and fails to tackle high inflation, this announcement will see pension payments for ex-miners better protected during this cost of living crisis.”

Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock said it was crucial to increase miners’ pension payments to protect against inflation while criticising government “greed” .

She said: “I’m proud to have worked alongside the trustees of the pension scheme to ensure the increase to miners’ pensions this year is protected against inflation.

“Currently, the Government is in the unique position of both managing and profiting from the Miners’ Pension Scheme.

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“This change marks a great win, but I will continue to campaign for a fairer arrangement to the MPS on behalf of all those who worked day in and day out to keep our country’s lights on.

“The Government should not be in the business of profiting from miners’ pensions.”

Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford added his satisfaction of getting a “better deal” for miners and pointed out the work of his Conservative colleagues in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

He said: “There are many former miners in Rother Valley who deserve better and I will continue to fight for them in parliament.

“In the face of global inflationary pressures, this increase is a welcome decision that will see their pensions better protected.”