Ashfield council leader condemns mineworkers' pensions 'treachery'
Leader of Ashfield District Council Jason Zadrozny has condemned the decision of the Government to block the return of £1.2billion from the Mineworkers’ Pension Fund reserve, describing the decision as ‘treachery.’
The report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee called on Government to end the ‘historic outrage’ and agree to a fairer pensions deal, alongside handing over an initial £1.2bn to former mineworkers.
The government’s official response stated that whilst ‘government recognises the harsh conditions in which coal miners worked’ they do ‘not accept that it has benefited unduly from the arrangements’
Councillor Zadrozny says this broken promise will cost miners close to £750 a year, with government also set to to take another £1.6billion on top of the £4.4billion it has already banked.
Councillor Zadrozny said: “Everyone knows somebody who worked our mines – both my grandparents worked in Bentinck Colliery – it was a nightmare job with significant risks.
“Whilst the country is going football crazy, the Government are attempting to bury this bad news.
"It’s the same old cruel Tories who are continuing to make victims of many of our miners, many of whom are suffering life-changing illnesses as a result of their bravery and dedication.
"As the leader of Ashfield District Council – I can’t condemn this decision enough.
“We plan to put a motion to Ashfield District Council and to County Hall calling for this decision to be reversed.
“Places like Ashfield and Mansfield have a rich mining heritage – one that the Tories have shown disgraceful contempt for.”