Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:49 pm on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Labour, Bolsover 7:49 pm, 10th June 2019

There is one point that my hon. Friend has not mentioned at all. I worked in the pit for 20-odd years before I came to Parliament, and I must say at the outset that this is an easier job than working down a coalmine. I know a lot of people do not like me saying that, but it is a fact. There is no doubt whatsoever about that.

One of the things that I learnt about the pension scheme was this. I must tell my hon. Friend, who has not referred to this yet although he may do so later, that when I went down the pit just after the second world war there was a pension scheme in the coalmining industry for managers and people who ran the mine. There was also a scheme that paid deputies, who were like little sergeants in the pit. They were people with authority and their membership entailed that they could be paid as well. I think it was in the early 1960s, when I was still in the pit, when at last somebody decided that miners themselves, and there were 700,000 of them working in the coalmines in Britain at the time—