Eastwood MP demanding full compensation for victims of financial firm's collapse

Gloria De Piero MP
Gloria De Piero MP

Equitable Life was one of the country’s biggest and most trusted pension firms when it ran into financial difficulties in the early 2000s before eventually shutting down last year, writes Gloria De Piero MP.

The scandal saw thousands of customers lose vast sums of money.

Ashfield resident Graham Norman came to see me at my advice surgery to explain more about how victims have been affected.

Graham told me that there are around 1,250 victims of the scandal living in Ashfield, plus their dependents, who have lost tens of thousands of pounds through no fault of their own.

Graham lost £63,000 and the Coalition Government’s Equitable Life payment scheme paid him just £13,000 of this sum back.

That scheme closed in 2015 and there are no plans from the current Government to reopen it and compensate victims fully.

Another constituent who decided to invest his savings with Equitable Life to guarantee a liveable income in retirement, has lost £77,000, having only managed to get back £17,000.

These heart-breaking stories are repeated up and down the country, with more than 800,000 people having lost money in the scandal.

I fully support these victims in their efforts to gain the compensation they deserve.

After all, if there was money to bail out banks, why shouldn’t there be money for this?

I have joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the issue and I back calls from fellow Labour MPs for a commitment from Labour to provide full compensation to victims.

I recently helped a constituent whose brother has had a severe stroke, leaving him needing round-the-clock care.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) told him that he had to wait six months before he could have the higher rate attendance allowance he qualifies for to pay for carers, plus another month before the money would start coming through.

I contacted the DWP and the family and they should now start getting payments within 14 days.

READ MORE: Only Labour will give the country a fair tax system.

Gloria De Piero is MP for Eastwood.