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EMAG launches pledge campaign for Equitable Life compensation
Campaigners are calling on general election candidates to sign a pledge committing them to vote for proper Government compensation for victims who lost money with Equitable Life.
Campaigning group EMAG (Equitable Members Action Group) is targeting 550 constituencies across the UK in the wake of the present Government’s failure to fully accept the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s findings of injustice and her recommendations for compensation. Victims of the Equitable Life scandal lost billions from their pensions and savings and an estimated 15 pensioners are dying every day without ever receiving justice.
The pledge reads: “I pledge to the voters of this constituency that if I am elected to Parliament at the next general election, I will support and vote for proper compensation for victims of the Equitable Life scandal and I will support and vote to set up a swift, simple, transparent and fair payment scheme – independent of government – as recommended by the Parliamentary Ombudsman.”
On Tuesday (16th) for the second time in six months, Labour MPs who had supported proper compensation, voted with the Government at the last minute to defeat Conservative and Lib Dem motions under pressure from the whips. “We intend to ensure that all candidates understand that we want proper compensation from the Government and that they will be accountable to millions of pensioners who are watching with keen interest to see what happens to the Equitable victims” said Paul Braithwaite of EMAG. “it is time that Parliament respected the recommendations of its own Ombudsman.”
EMAG’s campaign received a further boost today when Vince Cable sent a letter to all LibDem candidates urging them to sign EMAG’s Pledge. In it he said: “The LibDems will seek fair resolution very early in the new Parliament to provide proper compensation for the injustices found by the PO - independently administered and working with the victims’ representative body, EMAG.”
EMAG was successful in a High Court challenge last year which has forced the Treasury to expand the terms of its current “ex-gratia” payment scheme, but campaigners warn that the process is slow, not independent and has no guarantee that it will be either fair or adequate.
“Enough is enough – we want proper compensation before any more Equitable pensioners die waiting for justice” said Braithwaite. “It we don’t win this battle no pensioner in Britain is safe.”
More information on EMAG’s regional campaign can be found at http://www.emagregional.org.uk
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