HC Deb 20 February 1995 vol 255 cc13-4
17. Mr. Mudie

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the latest position concerning the payment of pensions to members of the various Maxwell pension schemes; and what are the prospects for further recoveries.

Mr. Arbuthnot

I warmly welcome the Maxwell scheme trustees' acceptance in principle of settlement offers in respect of various claims. I understand that the Maxwell Pensioners Trust has sufficient funds to continue to support pension payments while discussion of terms and conditions takes place. If a final settlement is agreed, the Maxwell pensioners should enjoy a secure future.

Mr. Mudie

The Minister is aware that even the sum agreed is many millions short of what went missing. Will he reassure the House that efforts to get the remaining money will continue? Does he share my concern about the millions of pounds that should be going to the Maxwell pensioners' fund which are being spent on legal fees, and will he do anything about it?

Mr. Arbuthnot

I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman did not take the opportunity to welcome what is very good news for Maxwell pensioners. If the settlement takes place, as we very much hope, it will save large amounts of legal fees because it will avoid the need for litigation.

Sir David Madel

Is my hon. Friend aware that Maxwell pensioners with deferred pensions will welcome that settlement? Will he assure me that the Government will continue to monitor the position closely until a final and happy solution to the dreadful problem is reached and all Maxwell pensioners can breathe freely in the knowledge that all is well?

Mr. Arbuthnot

Yes; and I take this opportunity to congratulate and thank my hon. Friend for the considerable work that he has done on behalf of his constituents, many of whom are Maxwell pensioners. He has approached me on several occasions to make precisely those points.

Forward to