CAMPAIGNERS in south Wales have welcomed a ruling that the UK Government plundered the pension pots of former miners for years.
A Parliamentary inquiry by the cross-party Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee ruled that the terms of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (MPS) were “no longer fair” and had failed to deliver “secure retirement” for many former miners, who in many cases developed “chronic health conditions”.
It was reported that the UK government had benefitted to the tune of £4.4 billion from the national MPS but successive administrations failed to deliver improvements for thousands of miners.
Campaigner Rhys Mills, Plaid Cymru’s Senedd Candidate for Islwyn said: “I welcome the findings of the scrutiny committee. It was an honour to aid Ken Sullivan, Emlyn Davies, Neville Warren, Gareth Hughes and the late Harry Parfitt to collect over 100,000 signatures and deliver their petition to both the Senedd and Downing Street.
“This has been a heroic effort by them, they are working class heroes. I hope the miners get every penny back owed to them. This cannot be watered down to a 70-30 split.”
The late Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis had campaigned for years for justice for the ex-miners.
Retired miner Ken Sullivan said: “We worked hard for over four years to collect the signitures needed to get us this far. I would like to thank the people of South Wales who signed our petition.
“We asked every MP in the south Wales coalfield to help. I was disappointed with Labour MPs who seemingly refused to help us just because Plaid Cymru had.”