Updated 20th February 2015
EMAG's new film: “Time for the Treasury to settle its Debts”
EMAG recently filmed a dozen of its aggrieved non-annuitant members
Most Recent Significant Item
A letter from Fabian Hamilton MP, Labour Party Joint Chair of the Justice for Equitable Life Policyholders Parliamentary Group of MPs (APPG) written to EMAG on 19 Feb, 2015:
“Thank you for letting me see the reply you have received from Ed Miliband.
Unfortunately, the response has failed to answer the very specific questions you put to him about what a future Labour - or Labour-led - Government would do for Equitable pensioners and policyholders. Even if he had said that the Party cannot tell until it's in office what money would be available, that would have been preferable to the reply sent. Simply summarising the position to date without replying to the legitimate questions you have asked is not very helpful.
Obviously you and the EMAG board must do what you think is best with the response you have received. I assume that the other Parties have now replied to the questions put to them about the future of Equitable compensation, so your members need to be able to compare those responses and decide for themselves which Party will best serve their interests as the election approaches.
I - and the 46 Labour MPs who are members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group - will not stop trying to get justice for all those who were cheated by the collapse of Equitable and the “catastrophic” failure of Government regulation which did nothing to prevent it.
Labour Member of Parliament for Leeds North East
A Commons Debate on Equitable
The APPG Executives applied successfully to the Back Bench Business Committee for a three-hour debate about further compensation for Equitable Life's victims. This is scheduled to take place at 11.30am on Thursday 26 February. EMAG urges policyholders to contact their MPs and ask them to please attend and speak up on behalf of the near one million non-annnuitant policyholders who have only received one fifth of the compensation the Government has acknowledged they are due.
There are now 215 MPs who are members of the All-Party Group. Is yours one? It is entirely reasonable for you to ask and expect these MPs in particular to demonstrate their commitment by supporting to Motion and to for you to ask them to report back. Many will claim “pressing other business”. That may be true, or rubbish or covering up for bunking off home. You can go back to them saying that surely this is of paramount importance (to you)? After all, how many times have you ever asked them to show you support? And it is election time!
EMAG has prepared an advertising campaign to summarise why policyholders still feel aggrieved. You might print this one off (preferably in colour) and send it to your MP. It's headed “Will MPs speak up for their constituents?”. This will appear in week commencing 23 February in the Spectator magazine.
The Spectator's edition on 19 February carried an advert that juxtaposed Osborne's upbeat words about supporting long-term savers and pensioners, contrasted with the way that the Coalition has short-changed Equitable's victims.
Labour Party Fudge
On 30 January EMAG wrote to Ed Miliband MP to ask for a clear policy from the Opposition on the prospect of paying more compensation to Equitable Life's victims. Read EMAG's letter.
his 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.”
A reply was received from Ed Miliband on 18 February. Read it here.
Unfortunately it does not answer the questions posed. EMAG will write again to press for answers.
So EMAG wrote again asking for our question to be answered. Read it here.
The Treasury's Dissembling
On 12 February EMAG wrote to all 215 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!
EMAG met Minister Andrea Leadsom MP
On 28 January three EMAG directors met the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom MP. The purpose of the meeting was to seek to establish a constructive working relationship - as EMAG had with her predecessor, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP.
Andrea confirmed that, because 150,000 Equitable policyholders eligible for compensation have yet to be traced, the ELPS Scheme will NOT now be closed in June. Read the summary of the meeting here.
The Exchange Between the APPG and the Minister
The three-man Executive of the APPG had written to Andrea Leadsom MP on 25 November with important follow-up questions after the APPG meeting on 10 November. Read their Letter here.
As a consequence of the EMAG meeting on 28 January, Andrea Leadsom's reply letter is now available (though it adds little) here.
945,000 Short-Changed Pension Savers
Here's a link to the briefing document EMAG prepared for MPs on WHY the 945,000 non-WPAs, who have been short-changed with just 22p in the pound so far, deserve FULL compensation.