Equitable Life

Trapped Annuitants

supporting the With-Profit annuitants of Equitable Life



Adjournment Debate - The Penrose Inquiry into Equitable Life

4 November 2003

With thanks to Brian MacDermot, a With-Profits Annuitant

I have just returned to my office from the Equitable Life Adjournment Debate instigated by Mark Ottoway, MP in Westminster Hall. May I say I was disappointed at the small number of policyholders who managed to turn up. As we left the chamber there were more members of the public lined up to attend the next debate - "Seal hunting off the coast of Canada"!
Secondly I thought the Conservative MPs who attended brilliantly set out the problems and the worries of their constituents. But where were the Labour MPs? Only one was briefly present who quite inappropriately tried to score a political point by blaming the Conservatives. Did the Labour MPs refuse to represent the complaints of their constituents in questioning the Treasury Minister Ruth Kelly? I believe any policyholders represented by Labour MPs should contact their MP and ask what action he or she is taking and why they could not be bothered to attend the adjournment debate.
Finally Ruth Kelly managed to concede nothing, and gave no promise of publishing the Penrose report as soon as possible when received and in its entirety. She hid behind a vague threat of having to submit the report to Treasury lawyers for legal clearance. On the subject of compensation she would not commit the Government even if Penrose was critical of the regulatory autorities. Action must now be stepped up by EMAG and all associated groups. It is no good threatening to sue the Company i.e. ourselves - we must tackle the Government for compensation 'en masse'.