Updated 17th April 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 14 April, 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 press article
“Equitable Life campaign wins SNP support as fight goes on
The campaign to secure full redress for Equitable Life policyholders has won support from the Scottish National Party as it takes its 15-year fight into another general election...
Despite a three-hour Commons debate last month, with several Scottish MPs among the 36 speakers, the coalition refused to revisit its 2010 decision to pay out only £1.5bn of a total losses of £4.3bn incurred by policyholders, due to the squeezed public finances...
"We have been having dialogue with the SNP who are very supportive of our situation and are looking to do something about it in the next UK parliament," said spokesman Paul Weir. "Nicola Sturgeon has come out in favour of it. The SNP have said they want to take a cohesive approach and as far as they are concerned it is not done yet and it needs sorting out. We are working with all the minority parties at the moment to get leverage."...
EMAG's secretary Paul Braithwaite wrote to all MPs last week as Parliament broke up, noting that the All-Party Group for Justice on the issue had 217 members led by three (Tory, Labour and LibDem) MPs, and thanking "every one of you who has bent the ear of your party hierarchies and marched through the division lobbies in our support, sometimes in defiance of the whips".
He went on: "We have had some great successes in the past few years - notably increasing compensation above the derisory level offered by the last government and securing recognition that pre-1992 with-profit annuitants had also suffered loss - but we have not achieved everything we would have hoped."
But almost 950,000 people are still receiving compensation for just 22.4per cent of their acknowledged losses. "We continue to see correspondence from the Treasury to MPs that is then passed on to our members containing inaccurate statements and significant omissions," Mr Braithwaite wrote.
Mr Weir said the Treasury still appeared to be "in denial" that government had been at fault, as the Labour administration had maintained for eight years. "The common thread is Treasury civil servants who are still working to a very old script written by Gordon Brown"...
What YOU can do in the coming days before the election
- Contact the two leading candidates in your constituency and tell them you will vote for the candidate who supports the payment of the remaining 77% of our compensation.
You might mention:
- You have lost money due to a decade-long failure of the Treasury's regulators.
- Chancellor George Osborne has admitted that we have lost £4.3bn as a result of maladministration, but chose to only pay £1.5 billion of it citing “affordability constraints”, leaving an unsettled debt of £2.8 billion.
- In a court, the defendant does not get to choose how much the fine should be!
- The £2.8 billion is an unpaid debt from the Treasury to 945,000 elderly victims.
- In the context of multi-billion pound bailouts for the banks and ANNUAL public expenditure of £734 billion, our £2.8 billion is peanuts.
- The problem is rooted in the Treasury, where they cannot face up to the fact that IT WAS THEIR FAULT we lost this money - down to the Treasury's negligent regulators.
So, we want the rest of our compensation paid out to us during the next Parliament and we want the pre-1992 With-Profits Annuitants more fairly compensated - on the same basis as their post-1992 peers.
The result of the coming general election is too close to call! The parties and their candidates will be feeling FEAR OF LOSING.
Please, contact your local candidates by email, letter or phone and tell them they have a choice to *WIN* your vote or *LOSE IT*.
Sad to report that, despite EMAG and the Regional Team's best endeavours, none of the political Parties included the need to pay the remaining compensation that's due to Equitable Life's short-changed pension savers.
However the EMAG regional team will be organising a vociferous campaign to get across the injustice and outrage, to seek to press serious Parliamentary candidates that this is a live and burning issue that shouldn't continue to be denied.
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 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
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!