BARNSLEY East MP Stephanie Peacock took further steps in her campaign for a change to the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme last week as she challenged the government in the House of Commons and met with the scheme trustees.

The pension deal has come under controversy after it was revealed the government has received over £4bn from the scheme since the privatisation of British Coal in 1994.

As part of the scheme, the ‘surplus sharing arrangement’ sees the government take 50 per cent of all surpluses made, and in return acts as the scheme’s guarantor.

Despite the treasury receiving significant funds from the scheme, the government has yet to pay in any money.

Stephanie has long campaigned for a review and amendment to the surplus sharing arrangement, and last week made a speech in the House of Commons urging the government to make a change.

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Commenting on the scheme’s surplus sharing practices, she suggested that ‘rather than in the Treasury, money should be in the pockets of retired miners’.

She also stated that this issue concerned ‘people who toiled for decades for the good of our country’ and that ‘the government should put right this wrong and give miners what is rightfully theirs - a decent pension that they have earned and paid for’.

Following her speech, the local MP also met with trustees of the scheme to discuss working together to press the government to make changes that will benefit retired miners and their families.

“The current arrangement that has seen the government pocket billions from the miners without paying in a single penny of their own is a huge injustice that affects so many people here in Barnsley,” she said.

“I’ve long called for a change to the Mineworkers Pension Scheme that would see more money in the pockets of miners and their families, and I pushed the government again on this issue in the House of Commons.

“Following the debate and my meeting with the trustees of the scheme, I’ll be continuing to press the government to produce a fairer deal for Barnsley’s miners.”