Ian Paisley MP has spoken out against the Treasury for the ‘alarmingly slow’ rate at which compensation is being paid out to victims of the Equitable Life scandal.
Speaking in the House of Commons today the North Antrim MP remarked “This week we’ve had announcements that bonuses will be paid to bankers, banks which are controlled by the public purse. They will take the personal decision to refuse those bonuses if they so wish. At least they have the choice. These people who have suffered under Equitable Life have not had that choice and I hope that the Treasury is listening today. If this government are expecting the support of certain opposition parties to form another government then they had better address this issue before the end of this term.”
The Treasury achieved a surplus of £8.8 billion at the end of January when only £6.5 billion was predicted. Various MPs supported Mr Paisley in his calls for a proportion of that money to be put aside to help in speeding up the process of fully compensating all the victims of this scandal.
Speaking after the debate Ian Paisley said “There are 945,000 policy holders who have received a mere 20% of their losses from ELPS. If you take this figure, add their spouses, children and parents, you could be looking at up to five million voters indirectly affected by this. That is a figure the government and opposition will both have to take very seriously. It has been accepted that losses of £3 billion were incurred by victims, a staggering figure and a significant number of my constituents are among the near one million people.”
“From this debate I will be pursuing this government and the next vigorously to ensure that this issue does not fall by the wayside. I am confident that my opposition to this disgracefully slow repayment system will gather significant support from my parliamentary colleagues across the house and my concerns will be addressed accordingly.”
“There is no better time than in the run-up to what is undoubtedly going to be the closest General Election in recent history to press the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet to pledge increased support for victims and speed up the rate at which compensation is paid out. It is vital that this issue remains at the forefront of parliament’s order of business in the run-up to the House of Commons dissolution and I feel that this week’s debate has gone a long way to ensuring that this remains the case.”