At 13:00 today, I attended a busy Westminster Hall debate on Equitable Life secured by Nicola Blackwood MP, to which the minister, Mark Hoban MP, responded.
Nicola covered the situation incisively. Many of us made an exception to sign the Equitable Life pledge during the campaign and we do expect it to be fulfilled. Many older people are living in poverty as a result of Equitable Life’s failure. Many concerns have been expressed to MPs since the election. We have inherited a scandalous legacy from Labour and EMAG members have lost faith in government as a result.
I must dash to my next meeting, so I will post a link to this debate as soon as it is available on Hansard.
Update: the full debate, which I recommend, may be found here. In particular, from the Minister’s response:
I remind hon. Members that no final decisions have yet been made on many of the important issues associated with the scheme. I want the decisions to be in the best interests of policyholders and taxpayers, and I encourage EMAG and others to be involved so that we can move the process on and find a resolution, for which policyholders have waited for many years.
I will give more details on our approach and the next steps in the process when Sir John Chadwick’s final report is published, but I can confidently say that we are moving towards our objective of resolving the issue. We are now reaching a crucial stage in the story of the Equitable Life payment scheme. What happens in the coming months will be decisive in laying out how the scheme operates and the quantum of payments that will be made to policyholders. I encourage all MPs to engage in the debate. This is certainly an issue that we must get right.