Pension 'injustice' to be discussed at county council meeting as Eastwood and Kimberley miners 'shafted again'

Calls have been made for the Government to ‘hand back’ £1.2billion as dozens of ex-miners around Eastwood and Kimberley feel they have been ‘shafted’ by the decision not to supply them with an immediate cash boost.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 3:23 pm

A motion to discuss the rejection is set to be the hot topic at a full meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council this week, led by Ashfield Independent councillor Jason Zadrozny

The new motion, supporting local ex-miners who have been affected, claims that the ‘Government should not be in the business of making money from the Mineworker’s Pension Scheme and should now hand back the £1.2 billion from the investment reserve fund to the miners and their families’.

The Government recently caused uproar by refusing recommendations of the Government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee (BEIS) on the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny at the former pit tip in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.

The scheme recommended that ministers tackle the “historic injustice” and recommended that the £1.2bn ‘Investment Reserve’ – a fund left by British Coal to be called on in the event of a deficit – be given to ex-miners, equating to minimum of a £728 a year uplift.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, the leader of the Independents, said: “Our ex-miners have to live with long-term illness and disabilities as a result of decades on the coalface.

"In a cynical move, Boris Johnson came to our area before the General Election in 2019 and made a promise to give ex-miners and their families their promised share of funding.

“Even a Government Select Committee called it a ‘historic injustice’ – now yet again our miners have been shafted.

"Thousands of ex-miners and their families lent them their vote as a result of broken promises.

"Many of them have gone to their deaths thinking that justice for miners had been finally achieved.

"Voting for this motion will send a clear message to ‘red wall’ MPs and the Conservatives in Government that they should keep a clear promise to our ex-miners.”

Latest figures show that there are nearly 30,000 miners in Nottinghamshire are in receipt of the occupational pension.

Local councils in Mansfield and Newark and Sherwood have already passed motions supporting the miners.

Ashfield District Council plans to do the same later this month.

An online petition has also been launched and can be accessed here.

Councillor Zadrozny added: “I have been inundated with emails, letters and phone calls from ex-miners and their families angry at this latest act of treachery from the Conservatives.

"Nearly 800 ex-miners a year die in Nottinghamshire – many of them of respiratory diseases caused by decades at the coalface.

"I have put this motion down for debate because it is critical that our ex-miners and their families know we are on their side.”