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Treasury: Equitable Life report is 'scaremongering'

A Treasury source said:

We do not agree that the Government has failed to get a grip on the planning or delivery of this important work. We continue to monitor the progress of the Equitable Life Payment Scheme very closely and are working hard to maximise the numbers of people who will eventually receive payments.

Instead of scaremongering, the Labour chairman of this committee should explain why her party shamefully did absolutely nothing about this scandal for a decade.


Treasury destroyed details of policy holders

Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said she was "stunned" to learn that the Treasury destroyed details and addresses of 353,000 policyholders provided by the Equitable Members Action Group in 2011 on data protection grounds.

It is completely unacceptable that more than 10 years after the collapse of Equitable Life so many victims still have not received the compensation they are entitled to.

Only 35% of policyholders have received payments despite 72% of the budget being spent. We heard of cases where people had been sent multiple letters requesting the same information and received only generic responses to individual queries and complaints.

– Margaret Hodge MP, committee chairwoman

'People dying while waiting' for Equitable Life payouts

Paul Braithwaite Equitable Members Action Group has vociferously condemned the Treasury over its failure to make payments to those owed Equitable Life compensation.

Mr Braithwaite told ITV News: "There are 236,000 people who they anticipate not finding. that's not good enough, they've got to find them."

Mr Braithwaite added: "People are dying waiting - that's a sad indictment on our political system."

Equitable Life payment scheme late and over budget

Only £168 million, of the £1.5 billion pot, had been paid out by March 2012, rather than the expected £500 million.

By the end of March this year, some £577 million had been paid out to 407,000 policyholders, with a further 664,200 payments totalling £370 million due to be made by the time the scheme winds up in March 2014.

The committee has urged ministers, and the Government agency National Savings & Investment (NS&I) which operates the scheme, to bring forward the publicity campaign, the cross-party committee said it was "concerned" that some policyholders will miss out.

NS&I estimates it has already gone £4 million over budget.

200,000 Equitable Life victims could miss payment

More than 200,000 victims of the collapse of Equitable Life may miss out on compensation payments because of failings in a Government scheme, a scathing report by a Westminster spending watchdog warned today.

The Treasury estimates that it may not be able to trace some 17%-20% of policyholders - between 200,000 and 236,000 people eligible for payments - by the March 2014 closing date.

And ministers are not planning to publicise the closure of the scheme until September, which provides little time for applications to be submitted by these savers, many of whom are elderly.