Victims of the Equitable Life scandal demonstrated outside Parliament last week to demand the Treasury settles its debt and pays the remaining £3 billion campaigners say it owes in compensation.
Hundreds of protestors from all over the UK wore campaign t-shirts and placards reading ‘My glass is 80% empty’ and ‘Treasury settle your debt’.
Campaign group Equitable Members Action Group (EMAG) is calling on the government to pay the 80% deducted from compensation payments.
“If somebody had a cheque for £5,000 it just reminds them that they are still missing £20,000 of their own pension fund,” said EMAG spokesman Paul Weir.
“With the economy on the mend, the Treasury should settle its debts.”
At a packed rally in Central Hall in Westminster, Stephen Lloyd MP – who was one of the keynote speakers and is the Secretary of the Equitable Members Group in Parliament – said, “EMAG was one of the first all-party groups I joined after becoming an MP in 2010.
“The behaviour of the previous government and treasury toward Equitable Life holders was, in my view, quite simply dishonourable. They knew Equitable Life was shaky yet allowed it to go on trading.
“Its subsequent collapse has been a disaster for many hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. In Eastbourne and Willingdon alone, hundreds of decent ordinary people who had saved for years into what they were led to believe was a reputable company, lost everything.”
He added, “I recognise the coalition government have done something, but I do believe the Equitable Life pension holders are still short changed. That is why I remain an active member of their action group and was very happy to speak at the rally.
“They have still not got what even the then Parliamentary Ombudsman said they were entitled to; so I urged the delegates to keep up the fight and that I would stand with them until we win!”