22 Dec 2008

Glasgow East MP, John Mason, has issued an eve of Christmas appeal calling for the UK Government to bring forward compensation for Farepak families, who are still waiting for reparation two years after the collapse.

Comparing the UK Government’s response to bailing out the banks with Farepak, Mr Mason has written to Gareth Thomas, Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs, asking why 20,000 Scottish customers – including hundreds of Glaswegians – are still out of pocket two years later.

Mr Mason said:

“The UK Government bent-over-backwards to bail out the banks, including those who shut the doors on Farepak, but have not found a single penny for the Farepak families.

“It is two years since Farepak collapsed, but that nightmare of Christmas past has left many low-income families still struggling to find their feet.

“We’ve been assured by the liquidators that savers would receive at least 5p back for every pound they lost. We’ve had promises from the Leader of the House, Harriet Harman that answers would be offered in a forthcoming Government report. We’ve been assured by the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs that this report was still forthcoming. None of these things have been delivered.

“It is simply disgraceful that, two years after the Farepak collapse, customers are still waiting for their money back.

“The UK Government needs to bring forward compensation for these families, particularly given that it was its failure to secure adequate consumer protection through regulation that allowed the Farepak Christmas crisis to happen.

“UK Ministers should step in without further delay to secure compensation for those who lost out so badly.”