Commenting on the Government's announcement today regarding Equitable Life, Chloe Smith MP said:
"I am told that nearly 300 households in Norwich North are directly affected by the Equitable Life fiasco. Equitable policyholders have fought a long campaign for justice since the value of their policies was cut in July 2001. Many people rightly want justice after maladministration, and the years of procrastination.
"I am pleased that the new Government has acted quickly to establish a clear timetable for handling this issue, and I hope that the first payments will indeed be made next year. I am also pleased that there is the opportunity for both the Minister and policyholders to reflect on the mass of detail contained within the Chadwick Report, before the plans for compensation are finalised.
"I pledged to Equitable Life policyholders that I will support and vote for proper compensation for victims of the 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. I do also believe it is important to recognise, as did the Parliamentary Ombudsman in her report, that the impact of any scheme on the public purse must be taken into account in such tough budgeting times.
"I am glad to hear that the Government is honouring its commitments."
Chloe has corresponded with Ministers new and old many times on the matter on behalf of constituents.
The issue was also the subject of a brief debate in Parliament (Westminster Hall) on Tuesday, called by Nicola Blackwood MP.
In two months the Government has published Sir John Chadwick's final report, set up the Independent Commission on Equitable Life Payments, published the first robust figures surrounding the calculation of relative loss, put in place a framework for the payment scheme, and produced legislation to give the Treasury statutory authority to make payments.