This morning I and three members of BSPS, give oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee at Parliament.
We have been asked to speak about our experiences and comment on lessons that can be learned.
The four of us met for the first time last night. In August this year, the announcement of the cash injection into BSPS was met with great relief. The general view of employee representatives, the press and Government was that this would relieve stress on the 130,000 members of the scheme.
But this has not been the case. Stefan Zait’s extraordinary submission, published here, details how members have continued and continue to suffer anxiety.
That this is the case, we can have no doubt. Reports from “Chive” suggest that demand for counselling and guidance among steelworkers in Port Talbot and elsewhere is high.
We will convey this anxiety to the Committee, explain it and offer some pointers for the future. The agreement between the four of us, is that the experience of BSPS members can be used positively in the future, to make things easier for ordinary people caught up in matters about which they have little experience.
I feel an extraordinary responsibility to tell matters factually and with sincerity. Now is the time for straight talking and honest representation.