Gordon Henderson once again highlights how this government and it's MP's care very little form its own people.
Let us be quite clear; our local MP’s decision to vote against the pensions “lifeboat fund” was not only a betrayal of the ASW pensioners, but was a kick in the teeth also for many other local people who have lost their occupational pension through no fault of their own, despite repeated Government assurances that those pensions were safe.
And that latter statement is the whole crux of this issue; this was an issue of public confidence in Government information. These pensioners have been misled, deceived and now betrayed. No wonder those workers are bitter!
Our MP tells us that “the lifeboat scheme cannot work” and that any rescue plan would “hit the general taxpayer”. In addition, he persists in the deceit that this was a Tory initiative. I am sorry, that is all so much hogwash!
Firstly, this was a cross party initiative promoted by Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour MPs, including Frank Field MP. Secondly, the “lifeboat scheme” is almost identical to the help given to Mirror Group pensioners when Robert Maxwell stole their pensions. The idea was that the Treasury would loan funds to help pensioners NOW and those funds would then be paid back over time. The money loaned to the Maxwell victims is still being paid back today, at no cost to general taxpayers!
It is true that the Government has now (at long last) agreed to pay 90% of the pensions, the problem is that nobody knows when the pensioners will actually start seeing any money. The Government’s record to date has been abysmal, with millions of pounds being spent on administration, with only a relatively few payments being made to pensioners.
The scandal is that many of the pensioners who are seeking justice will be dead before any money is paid out. If the “lifeboat fund” had been agreed then those pensioners could have started receiving money almost immediately.
I hope our MP is proud of himself!