SOUTH Antrim Alliance Assembly member David Ford has said moves to change the law in Northern Ireland to make members of pension schemes preferential creditors when a company is wound up would be very welcome.
Mr Ford was speaking after new Enterprise Minister Barry Gardiner’s first meeting with MLAs to discuss their concerns over pensions and job losses at Transbus, formerly Alexander’s of Mallusk.
The Alliance Party Leader stated: “I welcome the fact that the Minister had such an early meeting with us. I pressed the Minister on the Transbus issue and he agreed to consult with the Department of Trade and Industry in London and the Scottish Executive to co-ordinate their approach to the problem, which has ramifications across the whole of the UK. Unfortunately, we cannot act simply to save Mallusk alone, because it isso interrelated to other parts of the business.
“I welcome Minister Gardiner’s approach to and keep me informed. The Minister said he was asking his officials to consider if it would be possible to change the law in Northern Ireland to make members of pension schemes preferential creditors when a company is wound up. If he did this it would be extremely welcome, though serious questions still arise over the past administration of the Mayflower pension fund.”