17 July 2007
Barrett calls for an end to pensions injustice
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today called on Gordon Brown to extend financial support for people who lost pensions and retirement benefits when their companies went bust.
Speaking ahead of a major commons vote later today Mr Barrett urged the Government to accept an amendment to the pensions bill that would ensure that up to 125,000 victims of pension wind-ups received higher payouts.
Currently, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) only covers those schemes which were not yet in wind-up before the 6th April 2005 leaving many thousands of people facing an uncertain retirement.
Ministers have already been urged to extend the assistance available by the parliamentary Ombudsman and a Commons Committee, while the European Court of Justice said that the current government pension protection regime was "inadequate".
John Barrett said:
“The Government’s scandalous failure to provide proper compensation to the 125,000 victims of collapsed occupational pensions is causing justifiable anger and has thrown many people’s retirement plans into chaos.
“It is clear that those who lost their pensions, before the Pension Protection Fund was established, are being short changed by the Government. Ministers now have a moral obligation to give the support necessary.
“At a cost of 25 million pounds a year for the next ten years, it would be a relatively small price to pay for tackling what is a major injustice.
“Gordon Brown seems to be trying to present an ethical dimension to his domestic policy. How he reacts to this issue will show whether that is anything more than the same old spin.”