Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

DUP's promises for PMS savers are misleading

On January 18, John McFall, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, met Presbyterian Mutual Society savers to hear how the collapse of the society had impacted on their lives.

Sammy Wilson, as Finance Minister, and Arlene Foster, as minister responsible for the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment, were also questioned by Mr McFall and his committee.

When asked by a member of the Treasury Select Committee if there had been any involvement by the Treasury or the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to any support that they might give towards finding a solution, Mr Wilson replied: "There has been some support from the Treasury. At present there has been no request made for any financial support, or input from the Northern Ireland Executive in those discussions, but Treasury officials have been working with the administrator."

This disclosure has exposed the true extent of the DUP's commitment to find a resolution for PMS savers. For more than a year, misleading, reassuring statements have been released by DUP ministers and MLAs, declaring to be "working on behalf of the savers".

I believe the DUP has carried out a damage-limitation exercise in an effort to deflect attention away from the obvious loophole in Northern Ireland legislation which 9,500 PMS savers fell through in October 2008.

In my opinion, the DUP has taken a back seat for too long, despite their claims to the contrary.

In light of the upcoming election, I would suggest they stop blaming others for the lack of progress and get fully engaged in the ongoing discussions to facilitate a rapid conclusion to this prolonged crisis.

DISILLUSIONED PMS SAVER

Bangor, Co Down

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