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Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme

Part of Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill [Lords]: (Business of the House) – in the House of Commons at 6:12 pm on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth) 6:12 pm, 14th February 2019

The hon. Lady has made a valid point but, as she has also said, if the scheme had been reviewed at that point, many more thousands of people would have received a higher pension. The decision not to conduct a review was made partly because of the volatility that is inherent in a scheme for which the Government act as guarantor, and partly because, notwithstanding the idea that this is cash that sits in the Government’s coffers, the Government have no money of their own. In many instances, the money that has come into the scheme has been spent directly in the coalfield communities. We have spent more than £1 billion —[Interruption.] Hang on. We have spent more than £1 billion of Government money in the coalfield communities over the last 20 years, and we have committed an additional £70 million since 2010. The point is that, if money comes to the Government, it is part of the Government’s general receipts and can then be recycled. That money has contributed to the benefits that many other pensioners have received.