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Steelworkers’ go-ahead to sue Govt over pensions

Steelworkers who lost their pensions when their company went bust have been given the go-ahead to sue the Government in the European Court of Justice Community – formerly union ISTC – which represents the 1,000 former Allied Steel and Wire workers, says the Govern-ment did not adequately implement the European insolvency directive, which would have protected members’ pensions.

Independent pension consultant Dr Ros Altmann says if the action against the Government is successful, it could face a compensation bill of more than £20bn.

At a half-day hearing on Tuesday, Mr Justice Evans-Lomb agreed that the case should go to the ECJ. It is expected to be heard in the next 12 to 18 months. The case could set a precedent for about 65,000 victims of pension wind-ups.

Altmann says: “For months, the Government have said they did not not want to raise false hopes but the financial assistance scheme, as it is, cannot work.”

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