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Farepak

The Farepak Victims Committee warmly welcome this study carried out by Dr. Basia Spalek and Sam King of the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Birmingham. We also appreciate the support given to this study from UNISON Welfare Fund and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. It is more than one full year since the collapse of the Farepak Christmas savings and hamper company taking with it the £38 millions of savings of 150,000 low and middle income families yet we still have received no compensation and no proper explanation of what happened to our money. The report highlights the extremes of suffering that this collapse caused and continues to do for many, many families. We cannot help but contrast government inaction on Farepak with the concrete guarantees given to Northern Rock investors - we do not criticise government action on that issue, we simply look for equality of treatment for Farepak victims. As we approach Christmas 2007 we are grateful for this report - it has helped keep the issue alive and we note that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has expressed his concern and sympathy in the House of Commons with those that lost monies and intends to meet with MP's to discuss the matter. If government can respond positively it will be in no small way a consequence of those that have refused to allow this issue to quietly disappear including the sponsors and authors of this report. A small fraction of 1% of the money guaranteed to Northern Rock would make Christmas 2007 the best ever for thousands of families throughout England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Louise McDaid, Chair, Farepak Victims Committee.