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Williams calls for justice for Brecon's Equitable Life Victims

2009 Hydref 21 4:35 PM

Brecon and Radnorshire MP and Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of Statefor Welsh Affairs Roger Williams has called on the Government tocompensate people in Brecon and Radnorshire who lost their savings inthe collapse of Equitable Life.

The Liberal Democrats used their opposition debate on Wednesday tohighlight the Government's betrayal of former Equitable policyholders,many of whom are elderly people who have had their pension savingsslashed due the failure of Equitable Life in 2000.

In July 2008 Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abrahams published a reportcriticising the Government for failing to provide proper regulation andoversight of Equitable in the run up to the firms collapse. Her reportcalled on the Government to fully compensate the victims of the crash.However, the Government has so far only committed to helping those whowere 'hardest hit' and has no plans for a full compensation scheme.

In a motion put forward by Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg andTreasury Spokesman Vince Cable, the LibDems called for the Government toabide by the Parliamentary Ombudsman's recommendations and compensateevery UK victim, calling the current response 'inadequate'.

Commenting Roger Williams said:

"I have had a number of my constituents write to me in dire need ofassistance after loosing huge chunks of their savings in EquitableLife's collapse. The fact is that most of the investors in Equitablewere not wealthy investment bankers but ordinary people who were relyingon their Equitable policies for the pensions.

"The Government's current response is simply not good enough, theyshould accept the Parliamentary Ombudsman's recommendations, accepttheir responsibility for failing to protect Equitable policyholders andaccept that all victims, in Brecon, in Wales and in the rest of the UK,are entitled to compensation.

"It is vital that this issue is resolved soon, many of those who losttheir pensions and savings in 2000 are older people who cannot waitanother nine years to get the compensation they deserve. Already over30 000 people have died waiting for justice to be done, we cannot allowthe government to continue to drag its feet."