It has been a little while since I updated you on the work I have been doing on securing a better pension deal for former miners, writes Gloria De Piero MP.
In the summer, I organised a key meeting between some Labour MPs from coalfield constituencies, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and the trustees of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS).
We talked through some financial scenarios which would mean ex-miners getting a fairer chunk of the money that the MPS is making, and looking at how this could be done in relation to renegotiating the surplus sharing arrangement that is in place with the Government.
The NUM and the trustees have been working together ever since to crunch these numbers and are hoping to agree a position shortly.
When a position has been agreed, there will be another meeting with the Labour MPs who have been working on this issue.
We then plan to ask the Treasury for a meeting where we will present our case and the reasons why
a renegotiation of the terms of the current guarantee arrangements that the Government has, are needed.
I can reassure all MPS pensioners that I doing my best on this issue and will not give up until I they have more of their hard-earned cash in their pockets.
The news that the NHS could be short-staffed by 350,000 key personnel by 2030 is extremely worrying.
It is not, however, a surprise given the difficulty that hospital trusts are having right now to fill vacancies.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN)has just launched a campaign called #FundOurFuture that is calling on the Government to put back a minimum of £1 billion a year in nursing higher education.
The RCN says that since bursaries were scrapped and student nurses were required to take out a student loan for their degrees, the number of applicants has fallen.
Fewer nurses will inevitably impact on the care provided by the NHS.
It is time the Government looked carefully at this issue and acts quickly to stop the staffing crisis getting any worse.