Closure of pits in Yorkshire 'will cost pounds 255m'

SHUTTING the last pits in Barnsley will cost the Government pounds 255m in benefit payments and lost taxes by 2002, if closure of the Grimethorpe/Houghton Main colliery complex is confirmed, according to an independent report yesterday.

The Sheffield Business School analysis says that the 1,600 pit workers sustain more than 3,000 other jobs which would be lost as the effects of closing Grimethorpe were 'multiplied' through the local and national economies.

Those who lost their jobs would be worse off during the following 10 years by a net total of pounds 74.5m in disposable income. 'We put the discounted net cost to the nation of closure of the complex at pounds 330m at 1992 prices over 10 years,' the report, commissioned by Barnsley council, said.

Further damage to the local economy was likely, but difficult to calculate. New investment would be discouraged, many of the area's most able residents would migrate, and companies including a local glassworks would suffer if closure led to the loss of a railway line reliant on coal freight.

Previous research into the repercussions of colliery closures enabled the report to predict what will happen to the 1,600 mineworkers if the redundancies announced on 13 October go ahead. The largest proportion, one-third of the workforce at the two linked pits and the complex's coal-washing plant, will go into intermittent unskilled and mainly seasonal work, drawing benefit for an average of 39 weeks a year and working for 13 weeks. Like most former miners, they will earn substantially less than when employed at the pit.

A small number, about 1 per cent, will enter full-time further or higher education, claiming benefits for 32 weeks until courses start in the autumn of 1993.

Older miners suffering from industrial injuries will comprise 10 per cent of the redundant workforce, who will become long-term invalidity benefits claimants after 26 weeks on the dole.

About 5 per cent of the workforce will go into a training programme with a permanent job at the end, drawing benefits plus allowances for an average of 20 weeks. During the first six months after the pit closure, 20 per cent will find jobs without retraining; they will claim an average of 13 weeks of state benefits.

An estimated 10 per cent will retrain, but find work only after between six months and one year on the dole, claiming an average of 39 weeks of benefits.

After retraining, 20 per cent will find work only after long-term unemployment of between one and two years, claiming an average of 78 weeks of benefits.

A small proportion - about 3 per cent - will never work again, and live on benefit payments.

Two out of three men at the complex own their houses. An estimated 80 per cent will pay off their mortgages from redundancy payments. 'But a small proportion, 20 per cent, will deplete their redundancy nest eggs and still face a mortgage. They may, for instance, start a business that fails,' the report said. 'We estimate that, from 1994, one quarter of the unemployed mortgage holders will be in receipt of mortgage relief, and that the value of the mortgage will be pounds 20,000.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants