The Treasury has admitted it destroyed a disc containing the names and addresses of 350,000 Equitable Life victims.
Permanent secretary to the Treasury Sir Nicholas Macpherson and senior officer responsible for the Equitable Life Payment Scheme Mike Williams admitted the mistake at a Public Accounts Committee inquiry yesterday.
Equitable Members’ Action Group member Paul Weir says: “The Treasury officials told the Public Accounts Committee they had shredded the disk we gave them because it was not encrypted and they were worried about the Data Protection Act.
“The Treasury seems to be more interested in closing the compensation scheme than tracing people who are entitled to receive compensation.”
Earlier this week, the Government said the Equitable Life compensation scheme could be delayed beyond its March 2014 deadline and run over its £1.5bn budget.
This followed recommendations from the National Audit Office to set out a more realistic timetable and be prepared for the scheme to run over budget by investing in improving service quality.