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MEPs speak out against gender pricing ban

UK MEPs have attacked the European Court of Justice’s ruling on gender pricing as an arbitrary decision that undermines the democratic process.

Last week, the ECJ ruled insurers cannot price products based on gender from December 21, 2012. The move means providers will have to radically change the way they price annuities, life insurance and health insurance.

Labour MEP for Scotland Catherine Stihler believes the ruling changes the law “by the back door”. She says: “How can an unelected court change the democratic will of the parliament? It undermines the democratic process.”

Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom says the ruling could push business to areas outside the EU. He says: “If you can buy a product from a company elsewhere and get a better rate, then people will do that.”

But Green MEP for London and member of the employment and social affairs committee Jean Lambert says the ruling will help close the savings gap between men and women. She says: “This will be positive for women in terms of annuities, which is important as so many women live in poverty at retirement.”

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