§ Mr. Mason
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what estimate he has made of the numbers of mineworkers who have not paid their national insurance contributions for 12 months and may have their redundant mineworkers' pension affected; whether he has now considered what legislative changes are necessary to safeguard their benefits; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. David Hunt
The number of mineworkers to be made redundant next year will depend on the National Coal Board's plans for the continued reorganisation of the industry. My right hon. Friend and I are considering carefully what might need to be done in relation to those whose benefits under the redundant mineworkers payments scheme would be affected by failure to pay national insurance contributions during the strike.