THE borough’s Labour MPs have put their signatures to a letter asking for a formal enquiry into a pension scheme for former mineworkers.

The Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme has been criticised by MPs - including most prominently Barnsley East MP Stephanie Peacock - as one which ‘the government both manages and profits from’ despite not contributing to in more than 34 years.

The government has, according to the letter, received more than £4bn from the scheme due to an arrangement set up in 1994 which gives it half of any surplus the scheme makes.

In Text Promo Image

Former miners earn an average pension of £84 a week.

Stephanie met with minister of state for business Kwasi Kwarteng in March to ask for £1.1bn kept in the scheme’s investment reserve to be released to provide ‘almost immediate’ relief for retired miners and their families.

She has also held a parliamentary debate on this issue, pressing ministers to rethink the surplus sharing arrangement.

A previous admission from the government to MPs in the form of a response to a written question showed the initial deal that entitled them to such a large proportion of money was based on no expert actuarial advice.