Doncaster MP critical of Government for not doing more to keep mine open

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
Have your say

Doncaster MP Ed Miliband has criticised the Government for not doing more to keep Hatfield Colliery open.

The former Labour leader said the decision by pit bosses to halt coal production will cost taxpayers more than keeping the mine open until August next year - its planned closure date.

Business minister Anna Soubry said the Government had ‘done all it can’ to help Hatfield, including last month’s pledge of £20 million in state aid and a commercial loan of £8 million in January.

But Mr Miliband suggested ministers should have done more to keep the mine open because its closure will cost the Government more in lost tax revenue.

The MP for Doncaster North said: “The workers expected the mine to close in August 2016. But instead of a managed transition the Government pulled the plug.

“In the run-up to the election, they provided closure aid. After the election, they said not a penny more.

“Now the closure will end up costing Government more than keeping the mine open because of the loss of tax revenues from the company operating for another year.

“It doesn’t make economic sense for the Government and it is devastating for the workers.

“What Hatfield shows again is that the Government talks One Nation but acts very differently.

“In a few years time there will be a new market for coal with a clean coal power station at Drax. But that market will not be supplied by indigenous coal, but imported coal, with all the environmental costs of shipping coal to Britain.

“I will do everything I can to fight for the workers to find other work, doing everything in my power to co-operate with the local council and employment service.

“This is a day to recognise the labour of all the miners who have worked at Hatfield over the last century.

“They have kept the lights on, worked in the harshest conditions and have been servants of our country.”