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MEPs label Equitable Life package "inadequate"

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Members of European Parliament are refusing to accept the Government’s proposals to compensate victims of Equitable Life.

The MEPs have labelled the £1.5bn package on offer as “inadequate” at a meeting of the Parliament’s petitions committee.

The remarks were in response to an update to the committee from the Equitable Members Action Group, which said the compensation was insufficient and its allocation “makes no sense”. EMAG said its members feel “bitter and betrayed” at the package.

The MEPs spoke three years they completed their official report on Equitable in 2007.

UK Chancellor George Osborne announced compensation in the comprehensive spending review in October for those Equitable Life policyholders who may not have invested if it were not for regulatory failures. It later emerged the package excludes all pre-1992 annuitants.

EP committee of inquiry chair Mairead McGuinness said: “We as MEPs owe the policyholders a response to the UK Government’s proposals. We want fairness across Europe.”

Labour MEP Michael Cashman described the package as a “sorry and shabby business”, saying “no  political party in the UK comes out well”.

Liberal Democrats MEP Diana Wallis said the plight of Equitable victims could be contrasted with that of UK victims of the Icelandic bank collapse who “were immediately compensated”.

Centre-right German MEP Axel Voss insisted that compensation be paid out, and demanded the UK Ombudsman make public its views on the package.

Equitable Life collapsed in 2000 leaving over a million policyholders with sharp reductions in the value of their savings and pensions.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • I am a post 1992 WPA who will receive compensation but I derive no pleasure whatsoever from this fact when the pre 1992 WPA's are cruelly excluded and all other victims of the collape of Equitable Life through Regulatory Failure get so very little, some 15% of what they are rightfully due.

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  • I am a 1992 WPA but it was taken out on the 15th April some 5 months before the deadline of September.
    Can the Chancellor or Mr Hoban explain to me how I benefitted during that small passage of time that now excludes me from compensation.

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  • We now have a coalition government that is proving to be as dishonest as last one.
    Pensions now to be linked to CPI instead of RPI
    Student fees where Lib Dems were dead set against them.Last lot allowed cluster bombs to be stored on UK soil on military case by case basis when treaty in place to stop them.
    Opt outs allowed by EU.
    Whatever you look at with any of the political regimes nothing is what it seems.
    The EU dont have the will or the means to sort things out as they horse trade everything
    Am I a Subject of the Crown or a EU citizen?
    Does the EU directive on pension sales stand up as a piece of EU law to blanket all the member countries or not.
    Im just an ordinary chap wanting to know why when Equitable Life has clearly broken British and EU Regulations it is a problem that 10 years on is still causing anguish to many elderly people who invested in this company including myself.
    I wrote for help from the FSA and they put me in touch with OPAS who said I had to sort it myself. Equitable stone walled me.
    However I will not give up along with thousands of others we will continue the fight.
    Government has got itself between a rock and a hard place for sure.Whichever way they look with old or new laws justice will be done.

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