Hardly equitable

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Over the last few months, all the leading Westminster politicians have repeatedly stated how determined they are to protect the savings and income of the less wealthy British citizens.

These statements are incredible when you look into how the last two governments have treated the people who lost most of their savings and pensions as a result of the Equitable Life (E. L.) disaster.

Just before the last general election, and after ten years of denial, the Government finally accepted that it was responsible for this disaster and came up with a modest settlement. As most of the affected E. L. pensioners were at an advanced age, the majority of the successful candidates at the 2010 election agreed that the settlement should be paid in full as soon as possible.

But when the new Government settled down, only just over 20 per cent of the modest sum promised was paid out. The recipients got letters stating that times were hard and the taxpayers could not afford any more than that. It was made clear that no further payments would be made. Since the year 2000, hundreds of investment companies have gone bust. In all the other disasters, British citizens have been fully compensated by our Government even when the investment was overseas or the company was foreign.

Over 50,000 E.L. policyholders have died waiting for justice, and a further 15 die each day, leaving families devastated. The loss of proper compensation is particularly hard on women dependent on the pension savings of their deceased spouses. In each Westminster constituency there are between 500 and 1,500 families still waiting for justice.

All over the country, E.L. sufferers have written to their MPs asking for an explanation, and in return they all got back long standard letters containing the same denials that were used prior to accepting responsibility. In each constituency, hundreds of sufferers have written to their MP asking for a meeting to explain why the Government changed its mind on this issue.

Given the unseemly circumstances, it’s perhaps not surprising that few such meetings have been granted. But why is the British Government being so nasty to these elderly citizens, when they hand out billions of pounds to foreign organisations and governments?

J. B. Heywood

Folkestone

Kent

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