MAY VOWS NEW CURBS ON TAKEOVERS
‘Unscrupulous’ bosses to face criminal prosecutions, warns PM
LONDON said the party.
“I am setting out our plans, if elected, to ensure the pensions of ordinary working people are protected against the actions of unscrupulous company bosses,” she said .
May’s promise comes as new opinion polls show her party remains on course to win a bigger majority in the June 8 vote , which Tories say they need in order to strengthen the premier’s position ahead of Brexit negotiations.
Her focus on protecting pensions follows a public outcry in Britain over the collapse of the retail chain BHS after Philip Green, majority owner of clothier Arcadia group, sold the company.
Under May’s plan, any company pursuing a merger or acquisition valued over a set amount — or with more than a prescribed number of members — would have to notify the pensions regulator, which could then apply clearance conditions, said the Conservatives.
In extreme cases, where there was no credible plan or willingness to ensure the solvency of the scheme, the pension scheme or pensions regulator could be given new powers to stand in the way of takeovers, said the party in an emailed statement.
Other sanctions could include “punitive fines” for those found to have willfully left a pension plan under-resourced; barring individuals from being company directors for a period of time; and introducing a specific new criminal offence of a company board deliberately or recklessly putting a pension scheme at risk. Bloomberg