TREASURY – EQUITABLE LIFE – 8 June 2010

Dr Julian Lewis: What steps his Department is taking in respect of payment of compensation to Equitable Life policyholders.

[The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Mr David Gauke): The coalition Government have pledged to make fair and transparent payment to Equitable Life policyholders, through an independently designed payment scheme, for their relative loss as a result of regulatory failure. The Queen's Speech announced the Government's intention to introduce a Bill in the first Session of Parliament to enable payments to be made to Equitable Life policyholders. On the same day, the Government also announced that an independent commission would be established to design the payment scheme. These steps are a strong sign of the Government's commitment to deliver on their pledge.]

Dr Lewis: More than 60 of my constituents in New Forest East, and indeed even one of my own relatives, will be delighted to know that the Government intend to implement the recommendations of the ombudsman. Can he tell me when this is going to happen-and can he guarantee that IPSA will not be put in charge of making the payments?

[Mr Gauke: I thank my hon. Friend for his question. The intention is that Sir John Chadwick's report will reach its conclusion in mid-July; at the same time the independent commission will be established. We are making progress in this area-in contrast, I am afraid, to the dither and delay of our predecessors.]