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Lifeboat fund amendments narrowly defeated in Parliament

Cross-party amendments to the Pensions Bill to offer further help to the 125,000 people who lost out when their occupational schemes collapsed were narrowly defeated in Parliament this afternoon.

The amendments were defeated by a majority of 22, 282 to 260. They had been tabled by 12 MPs including Tory leader David Cameron, LibDem leader Menzies Campbell and Labour backbencher Frank Field.

The amendments called for payouts to victims to be topped up to the levels of the Pension Protection Fund.
It proposed this would be paid for in the short term through Treasury loans and in the long term through unclaimed pension assets.

They also sought address inefficiencies in the system by paying out victims straight away and passing administration of the Financial Assistance Scheme to the PPF.

Tory Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond says: “The Government had an opportunity today to set party politics aside and do the right thing.

The Pensions Lifeboat would have greatly helped those who have lost their pensions. Now Gordon Brown and his crew have sunk it. This is further evidence that the Chancellor cannot be trusted on pensions.”

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