The independent action group for current and ex Equitable Life policyholders, funded by contributions.

Equitable Members Action Group

Equitable Members Action Group Limited, a company limited by guarantee, number 5471535 registered in the UK

Correspondence: 03/03/2004 - Paul Braithwaite to Ruth Kelly

3 March '04 - Paul Braithwaite to Ruth Kelly

Ms. Ruth Kelly
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road
London SW1A 2HQ
42, Bartholomew Villas
Kentish Town
London NW5 2LL

3rd March, 2004

Dear Ms. Kelly,

Complaint about Treasury's high-handed treatment of EMAG:

I am moved to observe that you have neither acknowledged receipt of the EMAG commissioned report on Compensation, supplied exclusively to the Treasury on 30th November, nor EMAG's Equitable Growth Rates Report, supplied to you on 6th February.

Not only have you denied EMAG's reasonable request to meet prior to publication of Penrose but you have also refused to give EMAG confidential access to the Inquiry report - an honour seemingly reserved for Parliament, the Treasury select committee and ourselves out of the parties involved.

When you spoke in Westminster Hall on November 4th you explained to the Commons that there would need to be a delay in publication merely for "legalling". It is now apparent that you have actually taken the intervening 77 days to plot you response to announce co-terminus with Penrose's publication, thus pre-empting Parliament's prerogative to debate how to progress post Penrose.

I have seen countless copies of letters that you have sent to MPs alluding to EMAG's concerns where you have grossly inaccurately characterized the issues expressed to all MPs in my letters to them of 7th and 28th January. Your manner has been patronizing to EMAG, MPs and policyholders alike. That you and your Treasury colleagues have kept us all at bay with instruction to ask again: "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…." has been nothing short of deplorable and smacks of a continuation of what has been the Treasury's continuous cover-up of Equitable Life since 1998.

I only hope that, when publication comes, you have chosen to make "a clean sweep", because you may be sure that EMAG will go on and on in our quest for justice for Equitable Life's policyholders.

EMAG reiterates its offer to participate in any process that seeks to dispense redress even-handedly. would delay publication merely for "legalling". It is apparent now that you are preparing a Treasury

Yours sincerely,

Paul Braithwaite
General secretary of EMAG
Cc: Gordon Brown
EMAG website