Government Finally Admit Maladministration over ASW Pensions Saga

2007 Gorffenaf 13 4:51 PM

Today, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) published a report on the Pensions Bill and Financial Assistance Scheme, revealing that the Government has admitted maladministration over the occupational pensions saga that has cost the pensions of over 2,000 ASW workers and over 100,000 others.

The PASC report includes a Government response to the Committee's previous report. The response states that the Government has accepted a high court ruling earlier this year that Department of Work and Pensions leaflets, that reassured ASW workers and others that there pension were safe and secure in any event, were indeed maladaministrative (see notes).

Commenting, Jenny Willott, a member of PASC and MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"At last, the Government has come clean and has admitted maladministration. This is very welcome news.

"There will be a lot of people in Wales and across the UK who will rightly wonder why it has taken an Ombudsman ruling, an EU court ruling, a High Court ruling and three damning Committee reports for the Government to accept their share of the blame.

"For over 3 years, over 100,000 people have been facing a retirement in poverty having done nothing wrong. Meanwhile the Government has tried every trick in the book to look generous while actually being cunningly stingy.

"Gordon Brown and Peter Hain claim that the current settlement gives 80% of people's pensions. This is misleading, when you look at the small print, it's more like 60%.

"With this bombshell news coming out just before the Pensions Bill vote next week, it is no wonder Gordon Brown and Peter Hain have been talking about increasing support for ASW to 90% of their pension savings. I am determined to ensure that when they say 90%, they mean 90%.

"ASW workers have been through a rollercoaster ride over the last few years. It is time to end this and give them, and their fellow victims, a fair and just pensions settlement once and for all."

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