£10bn miners’ pension fund windfall fury TREASURY CASHES IN ON SURPLUS
THE Government has got £10BILLION from the surplus of retired miners’ pension pots.
And Chancellor Philip Hammond will continue mining the rich seam at the rate of £51million a year until 2019.
Meanwhile some former pitmen are picking up £10 a week or less.
The windfall dates back to 1994, when British Coal was privatised and the Government guaranteed its two pension schemes.
Under the deal, any surplus was to be shared 50/ 50 between the Treasury and the 257,000 mem- bers of the schemes, who while working had contributed 5.25 per cent of their earnings towards their pensions. In 1996 it was estimated the funds would generate a £2billion surplus over 25 years – but they are doing much better than expected and are lining Treasury coffers. Now ex-shadow minister Gloria De Piero is leading 22 fellow Labour MPs in a demand for Mr Hammond to stop snaffling the cash. She said: “We can’t turn the clock back. But in next month’s Budget I call on the Tories to put things right by promising future surpluses will go to ex-miners and their widows.” The Business Department said pensions were around 30 per cent larger than they would have been without the guarantee. A KEEN footballer who lost both legs in a hitand-run just seven months ago is on track to walk down the aisle on his wedding day.
Shaun Whiter, 28, was helping a pal fix a flat tyre when a driver smashed into them.
He lost four pints of blood and had to have both legs amputated below the knee. But a remarkable recovery means he is already walking on new prosthetic legs.
Now he’s aiming to walk out of the church with his bride Charlotte Way, also 28, on their big day in July.
Estate agent Shaun, who played for Newmarket Town FC, Suffolk, said: “I’m getting there. I’m so pleased with how far I’ve come.”
Talking about his prosthetic legs, he went on: “They’re very heavy. It’s like walking with stilts – but the thought of walking down the aisle has kept me going.”
Last September, driver Jan Adamec, 40, was jailed for 40 months for the crash.
INSPIRATION: Shaun with prosthetics. Above, Charlotte & story
DEMAND: Mr Hammond