I was able to speak with one of the officials at the Northern Ireland Office today and found the conversation encouraging. All options for a resolution of the Presbyterian Mutual Society crisis are being actively pursued by the Ministerial Working Group chaired by the Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State is aware of the urgency of the situation, given the age profile of the PMS savers, and the PMS crisis is at the top of his list of priorities. Officials are meeting on a weekly basis and the Ministerial Working Group is due to meet again on September 8. HM Treasury are also working on the crisis along with the First Minister and deputy First Minister and other ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive. The NIO ministers are very determined to do what the Prime Minister promised, namely to bring about a just and fair settlement for all PMS savers.
We must continue to pray for our Secretary of State, the Northern Ireland Executive Ministers, the Administrator, and all the officials who are working on seeking a good resolution. The crisis continues to cause major anxiety and distress for many good people who entrusted their savings to the PMS. They need relief and a settlement as soon as possible.
A recent report underlines why the situation has been so painful for PMS savers. When a significant number of people have had to dip into their savings in order to get through the current recession, PMS savers have not had that privilege.