Archives For Pensions

Diane Dodds

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.”

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley applied pressure to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions this week to confirm that the government will continue to provide the winter fuel allowance to Northern Ireland after the next General Election scheduled for mid 2015.
Mr Paisley made the point that over 300,000 pensioners in Northern Ireland currently enjoy the allowance and asserted that it is essential its upkeep is maintained for the rest of this Conservative term in power and carried on should they be re-elected. “The winter fuel allowance provides many Northern Irish pensioners with the reassurance that they can enjoy the comfort of heating their homes throughout the winter months.”
Iain Duncan Smith made it clear that his Conservative government are committed to seeing out the allowances until the end of this parliament but refused to commit to its continuation beyond the next General Election commenting “All further commitments will be made and published in our manifesto.”
Mr Paisley noted “It is horrific to hear the ever increasing amount of families and indeed elderly people across the United Kingdom who find themselves faced with the ‘eat or heat’ dilemma throughout the winter months. This should never be the case in a society such as our own and the two major parties need to make immediate pledges to ensure that pensioners in Northern Ireland can be safe in the knowledge that their fuel allowance will be maintained in the next government. Furthermore I believe it essential that commitments should be made to increasing the numbers entitled to the allowance for winters to come.”

Ian Paisley MP receives letter of thanks from the Ministry of Defence Fire and Rescue Service for representing them during Public Service Pension Bill.

This week, Ian Paisley the MP for North Antrim received a letter of thanks from the MOD Fire and Rescue service for representing them relentlessly concerning the Public Service Pension Bill.

As it now stands, the Government have set the retirement age for regular police and fire officers at the age of 60, whilst the MOD police and fire officers is set at 65. Ian Paisley MP along with his colleagues in Westminster have campaigned vigorously against this anomaly which sees our defence forces having to work longer than those in regular posts.

Writing to Ian Paisley, the Defence Fire and Rescue Service said:

“Ian , thank you very much for speaking in the Commons on the 22nd April.

It gives me great pleasure to thank the Democratic Unionist Party and all in it for their assistance and support, it has been a great experience to engage with MP’s from all parties and to get such support from so many has been inspiring.”

Speaking after the debates in the House of Commons, Ian Paisley said:

“I was only too happy to represent the Defence Fire and Rescue services in Parliament. These men and woman carry out an invaluable job for our country and we all owe them an infinite amount of gratitude.

What the Government have decided is wrong. I cannot see how it is fair to distinguish Defence Police and Fire services from those in the regular forces. The jobs are based on the same principles of protecting our country and our citizens and I believe they all should be treated with equal respect and courtesy when setting the established retirement age.

We will continue in Parliament to campaign against this unjust anomaly.”