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PMS savers continue to wait

December 6th, 2010

PMS savers will be interested to see the questions which were put by Leslie Cree MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly last week to Ms Foster, the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment with regard to the PMS. Clearly there is still some work to be done, although the First Minister, in spite of opposition, seems eager to get the budget approved before the Assembly goes for its Christmas recess next week.

What Ms Foster confirms is that the rescue package for the PMS is dependent on Executive, Assembly and EU approvals. That represents another series of hoops that need to be negotiated. We thought that having secured the support of the Treasury in making a loan available to the PMS that we were virtually home and dry. But not so!

We continue to wait, and my email in-box and post bag carries constant reminders of the anxiety and distress that this sad and tragic saga continues to inflict on PMS savers.

Mr L Cree asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment whether any collateral has to be provided against the UK Government’s loan to the Presbyterian Mutual Society. (AQW 2254/11)

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment: Northern Ireland’s Reinvestment and Reform Initiative borrowing facility will be increased by £175 million in 2011-12 to facilitate a loan to the PMS administrator. The terms and conditions of any loan assistance to be made available by the Executive to the administrator of the Presbyterian Mutual Society have not been finalised.

Mr L Cree asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment when the £25 million pound from the UK Government and the Executive will be made available to the Presbyterian Mutual Society. (AQW 2255/11)

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment: The Spending Review announcement on 20 October confirmed that the Government’s £25 million contribution to proposed Mutual Access Fund will be made available to the Executive in 2011-12. The Executive’s £25 million contribution to the Mutual Access Fund is subject to the Executive’s and Assembly’s agreement.

Mr L Cree asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment when small savers with the Presbyterian Mutual Society will have access to their funds; and whether there is any intention to save the Society. (AQW 2256/11)

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment: It is proposed that Government and Executive funding for the establishment of a Mutual Access Fund and the orderly winding down of the Presbyterian Mutual Society will become available in 2011-12. The proposed solution is subject to Executive, Assembly and EU agreement.

Mr L Cree asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment when she expects the Presbyterian Church to make its £1million contribution to the Presbyterian Mutual Society settlement. (AQW 2257/11)

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment: It has not yet been agreed when the Presbyterian Church will make a contribution to the proposed establishment of a Mutual Access Fund.

Mr L Cree asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to outline the time-scale for the completion of local and EU agreements to facilitate the resolution of the Presbyterian Mutual Society issue. (AQW 2276/11)

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment: Executive, Assembly, and EU agreement to the overall financial package will be required before DETI, acting on behalf of the Executive , puts its proposals to the administrator of the Presbyterian Mutual Society for agreement or otherwise by its members and creditors. H M Government and Executive funding will not become available until the 2011-2012 financial year. This will be progressed as quickly as possible, and the precise timings will become clearer as the implementation process is worked through.

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