“Bonanza” is right, “cash cow” is right and “injustice” is right when it comes to the mineworkers’ pension scheme.
In a recent letter on this issue, the Treasury referred to the 50-50 split of the surplus sharing arrangement as “reasonable recompense” for past investment in the MPS. Indeed, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has also stated that this arrangement is “in recognition of contributions” that the Government previously made to the scheme.
I ask for some clarity from the Government on this issue, as a recent answer to a written question I posed states that their involvement in the scheme began at privatisation, and we know from previous answers that the Government have not paid into the scheme since privatisation. What past investment or contributions can they still be being recompensed for? If there are none, surely this, along with the fact they have made far more money than expected from the scheme already, justifies the opening of negotiations into reviewing and reducing the surplus-sharing arrangement. With such a strong case on such an important issue, though I thank the Backbench Business Committee for giving us time to debate the MPS, it is high time that we had a debate in Government time, with engagement from Ministers, so that we can look at finally righting this historic wrong.