Plaid Cymru Pledge to End Injustice of Women’s Pensions & Mine Workers’ Pension Scheme - Leanne Wood - Rhondda Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru Pledge to End Injustice of Women’s Pensions & Mine Workers’ Pension Scheme


Plaid Cymru’s Westminster candidate for the Rhondda has pledged to “fight” for pensions’ justice for women if elected on June 8th.

Branwen Cennard made the comments in front of the miners’ memorial in Maerdy alongside Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood and Steffan Lewis, Plaid Cymru AM for South East Wales.

The Treorci born-and- bred businesswoman said the campaign was a cause very close to the heart of Plaid Cymru, adding: “If elected on June the 8th, I will be the Rhondda’s first woman MP. WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality is a cause that I will also get firmly behind and for which I will fight.

“Defending you and defending Wales against unfairness and inequality is at the heart of Plaid Cymru’s manifesto and General Election campaign.

“For true equality, for a fairer society, give Plaid Cymru your support. Give me and Plaid Cymru your vote on June the 8th so that together, we can build a better future for the Rhondda and for Wales.”

Branwen also turned her attention to the cuts made to the support provided to disabled people. “Theresa May supports punitive and unjust cuts for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) affecting over 160,000 people with chronic mental health conditions - one of whom I had the pleasure of meeting on the streets of Llwynypia last night as it happens.

“These are cruel and callous policies, affecting the most vulnerable. The very people who need and who deserve our help.

“The triple lock brought in to protect state pensions is now ditched….because moving to a double lock could save the treasury billions. Yes, I’m sure it could – but where does that leave hard working people, already struggling to make ends meet?

“I’ll tell you where: seeing their pensions fall by £600 a year by 2026. These are not rich pensioners, privileged enough to regard their weekly pensions as a top up to their already substantial wealth. These are ordinary people struggling to make ends meet.”

Steffan Lewis, Plaid Cymru AM for the South East, added: “The issue of the mineworkers’ pension scheme surplus forms part of an unholy trinity of miners’ injustices, along with past state brutality and the intentional de-industrialisation of their communities.

“When the agreement was reached to split the mineworkers’ fund surpluses 50/50 between the fund and the UK Government, no one anticipated that the UK Government would benefit to the tune of more than £3.5 billion that has been gobbled up for general spending.

“The National Audit Office has estimated that over a 25-year period, the UK Government can expect to reap £8 billion in surplus payments from the fund. In 2014 the Treasury received £750 million, and last year saw a further £95 million taken as part of the surplus split.

“A Plaid Cymru motion on justice for miners got the unanimous support of the Senedd last year. But I am angry that the Tories in London refuse to budge.

“Plaid Cymru’s manifesto includes this pledge: we will put an end to the UK Government using miners’ money as a cash cow. We’ve been working with former miners and the NUM to secure that aim. Plaid Cymru MPs elected in June will not rest until it’s achieved.”

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