15:55 Friday 15 November 2013

Jobless miners boost with fuel allowance

Written byROB SMYTH

THE MP for South Derbyshire has backed news that will see mine workers who recently lost their jobs get a pre-Christmas boost.

Heather Wheeler welcomed the news announced by chancellor George that the Government will guarantee the concessionary fuel allowance for around 400 mine workers who lost their jobs as a result of the recent restructuring of UK Coal.

The Government will also guarantee the allowance for around 1,000 retired workers previously employed by the company.

UK Coal – owners of the remaining two deep mines and six surface mines – including Minorca, in Measham, went into administration in July following the loss of its Daw Mill mine.

In total, around 1,500 former mine workers will be entitled to continue to receive their allowance in the form of cash or coal.

They will be entitled to choose up to £1,300 of free coal, or up to £600 cash in lieu of coal per year.

Mrs Wheeler said: “I am pleased that my constituents who were affected by the closure of Daw Mill and the ongoing problems with UK Coal will now receive what they are entitled to.

“I would also like to thank the Chancellor for listening to myself and other MPs who raised the blight of our constituents with him.

“Fighting for the rights of the ex-miners, looking after my constituents was a high priority for me over the last few months and therefore I am so pleased we achieved this.”

The National Concessionary Fuel Agreements were put in place between British Coal and mining unions in the 1980s. When the British Coal Corporation was privatised in 1994, the government retained the obligation.

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