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PRESCOTT WRESTLES WITH TREASURY OVER LOST BUS PENSION FUND

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The treasury is thwarting attempts by envrionment secretary John Prescott to repay£200m taken from 30,000 pensione...
The treasury is thwarting attempts by envrionment secretary John Prescott to repay£200m taken from 30,000 pensioners during the privatisation of the National Bus Company, reports The Guardian (p10).

An investigation by the pensions ombudsman has described the money's removal by the last government in 1986 as a 'breach of trust and a fraud of power'.

But the treasury is currently only prepared to return half the sum to the annoyance of Mr Prescott. 'Legal fancy dancing must stop and the matter be resolved by an out-of-court deal,' he said.

If the money is handed back pensioners stand to gain an extra£1,000 a year. Pensioner Francis Wheeler accused the government of delaying the payment to avoid paying in full. 'The longer this drags on, the fewer pensioners there will be,' he said.
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