Government must stand up for Equitable Life policy holders - Mark Hunter MP

January 28, 2009 4:10 PM
Equitable Life

Mark is fighting for a fair deal for Equitable Life policy holders

Cheadle constituency MP, Mark Hunter, today (27th January) spoke out in a Parliamentary debate in support of the hundreds of Equitable Life policy holders in his constituency who, despite the Government's statement, are still waiting to hear their fate.

The Government announced last week that they would only provide compensation for Equitable Life policy holders who have been 'disproportionately affected'. This decision comes after the Ombudsmen's report, an independent investigation into the collapse of Equitable Life eight years ago, found 10 instances of maladministration by Government departments. The report also recommended the Government set up a compensation scheme to "put those people who have suffered a relative loss back into the position that they would have been in had maladministration not occurred".

Mr Hunter spoke out on behalf of his constituents in the debate today saying that they had waited long enough to hear whether they were going to be compensated and that the Government's decision to "means test" policy holders flies in the face of the findings and recommendations of the Ombudsmen's report. He also asked why Equitable Life policy holders were not being supported in the same way as those who deposited savings in Icelandic banks.

Speaking after the debate Mr Hunter said, "It's appalling that the Government refused to allow a full debate on this matter on the floor of the House in Government time. While it's fortunate that a Lib Dem colleague was able to secure a debate in Westminster Hall, the weak response from the Minister shows the Government are isolated on this.

"I've received hundreds of letters, messages and emails from constituents, many of them pensioners, worried about how they are going to survive this recession without their pensions or savings to fall back on. It's just appalling that they've been waiting for a decision for so long and it's just wrong that they are now expected to suffer in silence while the Government decides who is 'worthy' enough to get their money back.

"The Government need to accept the Ombudsmen's report in full and act now to compensate those who have lost out because of the maladministration under both the Tories and Labour. Those residents who have been adversely affected can be sure that I will continue to fight for a fair deal on their behalf."

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