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Moore welcomes Government action on Equitable Life

May 17, 2011 11:23 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Borders MP Michael Moore has welcomed the announcement that the Government will begin making payments to Equitable Life policyholders who lost their savings when the firm collapsed in 2000.

It is hoped that the first payments will be transferred next month with priority given to elderly policyholders or the estates of deceased policyholders.

Treasury Ministers have confirmed that payments received under the new scheme will not be taxed or means tested and will not affect eligibility for tax credits. Policyholders will be contacted if they eligible for the payments which will be made out of £1.5 billion which the Government has put aside for the scheme.

The introduction of a fair, transparent and independent compensation scheme for Equitable Life policy holders was a key Liberal Democrat pledge before the general election. A commitment to bringing forward a Bill on this issue in this legislative session was included in the coalition agreement.

Commenting, Mr Moore said:

"Despite the difficult economic situation, I have always maintained that compensating those who lost money as a result of government failings remains a top priority. The publication by the Treasury of full details of the shape of the compensation scheme is another major step towards justice for those who lost their savings.

"It is however very sad that due to the stalling and indecision of the Labour Government many people died without ever receiving the compensation they deserved. The failure of the previous government to accept their responsibility in the failure of Equitable Life was nothing less than shameful and I am glad that this Government has taken the decisive action which policyholders were waiting for."

Notes:

The full written statement from Mark Hoban MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, is available online at:
http://hcl1.hclibrary.parliament.uk/general_pdf/ministerialstatements/Ma...

Further details of the scheme itself are available online at:
http://equitablelifepaymentscheme.independent.gov.uk/