James Moore: Government still haunted by curse of Equitable Life

Outlook Equitable Life caused no end of embarrassment to successive Labour governments. Now its doing the same to the Coalition, whose members made a great big song and dance about compensating victims, only to make a mess of doing so when it came to making good on the promise. So says the National Audit Office.

It accepts that government compensation schemes can be complex and difficult to administer. Doubly so, it might have added, when you're dealing with life insurance. But when ministers ploughed ahead they failed to learn any lessons from the past.

And while this meant they got the first payments out on time, it'll be a miracle if the scheme closes in 2014 as planned. The chances are this cursed insurer will still be haunting the next Government when it takes office.

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