BARNSLEY East MP Stephanie Peacock has slammed the ‘outrageous’ government for pocketing funds from the controversial Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme three years to the day since a report was released to the public - and she’s called for ‘an end to the scandal’.

First introduced in 1952, the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) was a pension scheme for coal miners, to ensure they received a good pension after years of work in the coal mines.

At the end of 1994, following privatisation, the government took over the role as guarantor for the MPS from British Coal.

Arrangements were subsequently put in place whereby the government guaranteed that the members of the MPS would always receive the benefits they had earned up to that date and that, in future, those benefits would rise annually in line with inflation.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select (BEIS) Committee recommended that a 50-50 surplus sharing arrangement end, and that the £1.2bn reserve fund be returned to former miners in 2021.

The government have taken £4.8bn from the MPS to date, with the final figure set to rise to over £6bn.

Despite the cross-party recommendations in 2021, the government has still continued to profit from mineworkers’ pensions - and has taken £420m extra during the time frame.

Ms Peacock this week once again called on the government to do the right thing.

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She said: “This weeks marks three years since the cross-party report into the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme was published.

“I was proud to campaign to secure that report, which concluded that the government should not be in the business of profiting from mineworkers’ pensions.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that to date, £4.4bn has been taken from the MPS when the average miner received a pension of just £84 a week - with widows on a lot less.

“We need the government to act.

“We need change to end this scandal now.”