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Tories brand Government pension response a ‘disgrace’

The Tories have attacked the Government’s response to the public administration committee’s damning assessment of its treatment of victims of occupational pension collapses, branding it a ‘disgrace’.
Pensions minister James Purnell this week ruled out any more help for the estimated 125,000 people who lost their pensions when schemes collapsed before the introduction of the Pension Protection Fund.
He said the government had already committed over £2bn to the Financial Assistance Scheme which he estimates will help 40,000 people.
Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond says: “It is a disgrace that the Government continue to defy the Ombudsman and deny all responsibility for pensions that have been lost under their watch. We accept the Ombudsman’s finding of maladministration and we accept that mistakes were made. The Government should do the same.”
Purnell said: “We have real sympathy for those who have lost their occupational pensions and this is why we have put the FAS in place. However, we do not believe that the taxpayer should be expected to underwrite what were private company pension schemes.”

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