asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) whether the mineworkers redundancy payments scheme, early retirement schemes, sick pay schemes and similar schemes which take into consideration unemployment pay or sick pay, will be, in effect reduced by 5 per cent. by the Government's proposals to reduce the increase in such payments in November; and, if not, from where the difference will be funded;(2) who will fund that element of the mineworkers redundancy payments scheme which is at present made up by earnings-related supplement when the supplement is phased out;(3) who will fund that element of the mineworkers pension scheme and similar schemes which are at present made up by earnings-related supplement when the supplement is phased out.
The consequences of the proposed changes are complex, and their effect on a number of coal industry schemes is still being studied. As regards the 5 per cent. change, the Bill provides only that the increase in certain benefits may be reduced by up to 5 per cent. and not that the benefits themselves will be reduced by this amount.