PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair is hinting the government will provide a rescue plan for those people who have already lost money after their pension schemes wound up.
The Daily Telegraph says Blair told MPs he hoped to come forward "with a solution" to provide a protection scheme for future pensioners who have already become victims of collapsed pension schemes.
From next year, the new Pension Protection Fund will safeguard people saving into an occupational pension scheme. However, the government has previously met a lot of criticism over its refusal to include people who have already lost their money in the coming legislation.
That may now be a thing of the past as Blair yesterday raised the prospect of a government-backed solution.
Whitehall officials also confirmed discussions were under way on some form of help, the paper says.
STAYING WITHIN the political sphere, MPs have attacked lenders for being complacent when it comes to increasing levels of consumer debts, reports The Times.
The criticism comes in response to research commissioned by the British Bankers’ Association suggesting debt trends in the UK "remain in line with other major economies".
The report says just 4% of the population are over-indebted and blames lifestyle changes rather than the ready availability of credit for the escalating trend.
But MP Vincent Cable said the findings are "extraordinarily complacent".
"I am just amazed that they have come to the conclusion that aggressive lending practices, based upon optimistic views of future earnings, are not a problem," he says.
MP Mark Lazarowicz adds: "The findings are too simplistic. Over-indebtedness may not yet be a problem for the economy as a whole, but the issue is that for individual cases it is having very damaging consequences."
MEANWHILE PRUDENTIAL yesterday reassured the industry the sale of its majority stake in internet bank Egg would still go ahead despite not yet having come up with any names of potential buyers, The Scotsman says.
Pru has been trying to sell off its 79% holding in Egg since the end of January but so far no buyer has emerged.
Fears about lost interest in the sale have been intensified by Egg’s refusal to set a date for its AGM.
Egg chief executive Paul Gratton says: "There is no point meeting shareholders when we don’t have anything to say."IFAonline
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