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Older Miners (Redundancy Scheme)

Volume 827: debated on Monday 6 December 1971

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to improve the over-55s redundancy scheme as it applies to the mining industry; and if he will make a statement.

I have consulted both sides of the industry and I shall shortly be introducing a Statutory Instrument embodying my proposals for changes in the scheme that will apply to men becoming redundant between March, 1972, and March, 1974.

Does that mean that this is a two-year rather than a three-year scheme? Will the hon. Gentleman remember that the unions have been pressing for an extension so that people may get redundancy pay until they reach the age of 65 or until they find a job, whichever is the sooner, though they are not likely to achieve the latter? Before the hon. Gentleman finalises his answer, perhaps I can make a proposal—

I was just getting round to that, Mr. Speaker. Would it be possible to send this matter to the Select Committee on the Civil List so that these redundant miners can get the same sort of treatment as the Duke of Gloucester?

The original scheme covered men becoming redundant between July, 1967, and March, 1971. The 1971 Act empowers my right hon. Friend to make similar schemes covering redundancies occurring before March, 1974, and that is the limit on the period. As for the details, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will await the announcement. The orders will, of course, be subject to debate and affirmative Resolution in both Houses.