Government delays are letting down Equitable Life victims

Jo pressed the Leader of the House of Commons to hold a debate in Parliament on Equitable Life

Jo Swinson has criticised the Government for failing to stand up for East Dunbartonshire residents who were victims of the Equitable Life’s near-collapse.

In July, Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham judged that the Government should apologise to policyholders and set up a compensation fund for those who lost out when the life assurance company reached near-collapse in 2000.

MPs are waiting for the Government to respond to the report, and speaking in the House of Commons today, Jo Swinson urged the Leader of the House of Commons Harriet Harman MP to say when the response would be published. The Minister chose only to say that the response would appear in “Autumn”.

Jo said:

“Dozens of East Dunbartonshire residents have contacted me, having been affected by the Equitable Life debacle. They want to see the Government accept the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report in full, including the recommendations for a compensation scheme, an admission of fault and a full apology for policyholders.

“Given that the retirement savings of more than a million people took a hit when Equitable Life came close to collapse in 2000, I am angry that the Government is dragging its heels over bringing a plan for action before Parliament. The Minister said an announcement would be made in Autumn, but with the first snow of the year already having fallen, it doesn’t feel like there is much of Autumn left.

“I am wholeheartedly backing my constituents’ calls for compensation. It is right that the Ombudsman’s recommendations are actioned and that compensation is paid where it is due – an apology would be a good place to start.”

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