Government told to face up to failings over Equitable Life at the High Court

THE GOVERNMENT was yesterday told it can not &ldquo;evade reality&rdquo; over its obligations to victims of the Equitable Life crisis.<br /><br />The criticism, made by a group of policyholders who lost out due to the near-collapse of the firm, came at the start of a landmark High Court case.<br /><br />The Equitable Members Action Group of 21,000 of the investors called for a judicial review of the government&rsquo;s decision to ignore some of the recommendations on compensation made by parliamentary ombudsman Ann Abraham.<br /><br />The high-profile case, set to last around three days, will decide if the Treasury has acted legally and rationally in failing to respond to the calls, after the ombudsman delivered her damning report in July last year. It said the government should pay up over its regulatory failings.<br /><br />Tory shadow financial secretary Mark Hoban called for action yesterday, saying: &ldquo;Isn&rsquo;t it clear that a year after the ombudsman published her damning report on the regulation of Equitable Life and six months after the Government&rsquo;s response, no real progress has been made?&rdquo;