Before the end of the last parliament – I handed in a petition from local people who had been caught up in the Equitable Life mess. Instead of putting the petition in the sack that hangs on the back of the Speaker’s Chair – the petitioners had asked specifically that I present the petition in Parliament. To do this – you have to pre-arrange with the petitions office so to do in advance – and then after debate finishes (at 10pm) and before the adjournment debate commences – you get to read out the prayer in the chamber and then present the petition.
There were nearly fifty signatories to the one I presented for Hornsey & Wood Green. No doubt there were other victims locally – and no doubt victims throughout every constituency in the country. After years of waiting on Labour’s promise which was never honoured – the Coalition Government announced that it has introduced a Bill to compensate Equitable Life policyholders.
Commenting, my colleague Stephen Williams, MP and Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Policy Committee said:
“The Labour Government had 10 years to help the those who had their lives ruined by the collapse of Equitable Life and did nothing.
“In just 10 weeks the Coalition Government has taken real action to ensure that those who saw their pensions and life savings hit hard get the compensation they deserve.
“Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for proper compensation for Equitable Life policyholders and committed to it in our election manifesto. This announcement is further proof of our influence in Government.”