U-turn for miners

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne has announced that the government will guarantee the concessionary fuel allowance for around 400 miners who lost their jobs because of the UK Coal restructuring plus around 1,000 retired workers.

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Video: Victory in free coal campaign

There has been a landmark victory for retired miners - who have been told by the Government they will have free coal for life.

Hundreds of former pitmen stood to lose their historic fuel allowance under a deal to save UK Coal and two thousand jobs.

But today the Chancellor George Osborne announced during a visit to Thoresby Colliery in North Nottinghamshire that their concessionary allowance will be guaranteed by the government. David Hirst reports.

U-turn over retired miners' fuel allowance

The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced during a visit to Thoresby Colliery in North Nottinghamshire this afternoon that he would reverse the decision to cut the entitlement of former miners winter fuel allowance. This follows a sustained campaign by regional MPs.

On Monday Bassetlaw MP John Mann organised a protest outside UK Coal headquarters in Harworth near Doncaster. Last week he spoke out in Parliament against the treatment of former miners and their widows.

“I am delighted that the Government and UK Coal bosses have caved in to pressure and have finally been forced to do the decent thing. They knew that our next step was to take legal action, and I am glad that the legal fees that would have been incurred have been avoided.

The concessionary fuel allowance is a contractual obligation to be paid to former miners and in some cases their widows. It is not a benefit, but part of what these former miners are owed.

My constituents now need the fuel as soon as possible so that they can heat their homes this winter”

– John Mann MP

Hundreds of former pitmen stood to lose their historic fuel allowance under a deal to save UK Coal and two thousand jobs.

“This is a great victory, and a further example of how a strong local campaign can force the Government to listen and do the right thing."

– John Mann MP

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