Updated 31st March 2015
EMAG exists to campaign for full government compensation. Will members of EMAG please note that because of pressure of work we regret it is not possible to answer individual written enquiries.
EMAG's colour page ad in Private Eye 17 March, 2015
EMAG's new film: “Time for the Treasury to settle its Debts”
EMAG recently filmed a dozen of its aggrieved non-annuitant members
Latest important letter
From Labour's shadow financial secretary:
“Thank you for your response. As the policy lead on the issue of Equitable Life, Ed Miliband asked that I follow up your queries. I apologise for the delay in getting back to you.
In response to the Ombudsman's Report, the last Labour Government apologised for the past failings of the regulators. The safeguards were inadequate in preventing the vast bulk of problems with Equitable Life arising in the first place...
Sir John Chadwick devised the principles on which loss should be determined and how it might be translated into compensation. He undertook a thorough and forensic examination of the Equitable Life case and drew a distinction between 'potential losses' and actual losses. He also distinguished between losses due to administration and losses due to falls in the world stock market and the subsequent devaluing of investments...
I want to make sure that the next Labour Government works to have the compensation scheme proposed in the Chadwick Report properly implemented so that policyholders who face a grave injustice are compensated without further delay.
Thank you for taking the time to get in touch about such an important issue.
Chris Leslie to EMAG - 27 March, 2015
Dissolution of the Commons
On Monday 30 March the dissolution of the current Parliament took place with David Cameron formally visiting the Queen. Now, every one of the 650 seats in the Commons is vacant and there are NO MPs until new ones are elected on 7 May. That means that there are now only CANDIDATES and MPs have reverted to being members of the public.
On 30 March, Paul Braithwaite on behalf of EMAG wrote to all 217 ex-MP members of the “Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders” to thank them for their support and to circulate EMAG's “Parthian Shot” to outgoing economic secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom. Read the letter here.
The Labour Party's shabby response
On 30 January EMAG wrote to Ed Miliband MP to ask for a clear policy from Labour on the prospect of paying more compensation to Equitable Life's victims. Read EMAG's letter here.
Our letter contained three questions: “...In order that EMAG can inform our members I ask you, as Leader of the Labour Party, whether:
- You accept in full the Parliamentary Ombudsman's findings and recommendations in relation to Equitable Life;
- you accept £4.3billion as the figure for relative losses for policyholders arising from maladministration; and whether
- the Labour Party in government or in coalition will compensate all policyholders during the next parliament for their full losses.”
On 19 March Ed Miliband wrote back, delegating responding to Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie. EMAG has chased him again and again. On the evening of 27th March, after Parliament had been prorogued, EMAG finally received an extraordinary reply from Chris Leslie. It still doesn’t answer those three key questions. But it promises that, if Labour is elected, then the (much discredited) Sir John Chadwick report will be implemented! Read the letter here
Commons debate on Equitable compensation
On 26 February the Backbench Business Committee dedicated one of its privileged debates to Equitable Life, and the Motion demanded that there be a commitment in the next Parliament to pay out the compensation in full, as the economy recovers. 37 MPs spoke and only the Minister responsible, Andrea Leadsom MP, maintained the government's position. At the end of the debate there was a unanimous vote to adopt the motion, which read:
“That this House congratulates the Government on providing a scheme to compensate victims of the Equitable Life scandal; welcomes the Government's acceptance of the Parliamentary Ombudsman's findings in full; notes that the Parliamentary Ombudsman recommended that policyholders should be put back in the position they would have been had maladministration not occurred; further notes that most victims have only received partial compensation compared to the confirmed losses; and calls on the Government to make a commitment to provide full compensation during the lifetime of the next Parliament as the economy and public finances continue to recover.”
You can watch the debate (start at 12.53) here.
You can download a digest of the press coverage so far here.
All in all, a triumph! And great credit to the three-man APPG Executive officers, all of whom spoke well in our favour.
The Treasury's dissembling
On 12 February EMAG wrote to all 217 MPs on the APPG to provide them with a detailed explanation as to why they should not trust the Treasury's replies to Equitable Life questions. It may be an eye-opener for you too!