The work continues on PMS

I had a telephone conversation yesterday with the Secretary of State, Mr Owen Paterson, and he assured me that work was continuing to seek a fair and just resolution to the PMS crisis. As yet we have no black and white outcome, he said, but ministers and officials are pressing on, and are seeking a solution.

There is a twin track approach in this quest, with efforts still being made to bring about a commercial solution as well as a reconsideration of what we have come to refer to as Plan B. The Secretary of State said that the Working Group was equally serious about both options.

It’s important that we stay patient for the next few weeks. Clearly the Spending Review next month is a deadline that the Ministerial Working Group is very aware of, and there is an urgency to their work.

The Secretary of State confirmed that the last meeting of the Ministerial Working Group was very constructive, and the statement following today’s meeting is also positive. It’s good to see that the Treasury are actively involved in the discussions as represented by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Mark Hoban.

I hope to see Mr Paterson next week for further discussions on this topic.

Here’s today’s statement:

Members of the Ministerial Working Group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society met today in Belfast to assess progress towards a resolution for those PMS members who remain unable to access their investments in the Society, which entered administration in October 2008.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mark Hoban came to Belfast for the first time in his ministerial role to attend the meeting. Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson MP chaired it.  First Minister Peter Robinson, deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, NI Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment Arlene Foster and Minister of State for Northern Ireland Hugo Swire also took part.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Paterson said:

“My colleagues on the Ministerial Working Group and I are encouraged by the progress which has been made in the fortnight since we last met.  We remain committed to finding a fair and just resolution quickly and to that end I’m confident that we have taken a significant step forward today.

“Work has been going on intensively in the several months since the election and the momentum is increasing further.

“We are all conscious of the need to identify a way forward in the context of the Spending Review next month. We know that PMS members are keen to know more about the options we have been working on, and we hope to be able to offer more insight in the near future.  We will meet again in two weeks.”

4 Replies to “The work continues on PMS”

  1. Dr Carson; Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of all PMS savers. You have demonstrated wisdom, dtermination and Grace in abundance in all you have done for us.
    In thanking you most sincerely I encourage you to press on towards the finishing line. Your blog is an excellent resource for PMS savers. I encourage all readers to share this information with those who do not have internet access. We know it is reliable and can quote with complete confidence the information you post.

  2. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of us the savers. Without your involvement we would be in the dark as to what is happening to our hard earned savings.We continue to keep you in our prayers and know that the solution wi.ll be ultimately be in the hands of our Lord

  3. Very encouraged by your recent Blog. This past two years have made us weary after suffering despair over our savings. Let’s hope that those in power will not use the stringent financial situation to short change us. Surely any bank willing to take over the savers business would reap rich rewards from grateful Presbyterian savers, churches and businesses. God willing this crisis will end soon. Thank you Dr Carson for all your good work. You have gone a great way to redeem the Presbyterian Church in the eyes of the savers.

  4. Dr. Carson, it was a pleasure to meet you last month. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do in regard to the PMS situation.Could I also ask you to encourage your colleagues in the PCI ministry to properly show the pastoral care the PMS Savers both need and deserve.

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