Waspi women demand Labour 'deliver fast and fair' state pension payout 'in first 100 days of Parliament'

Waspi women and Sir Keir Starmer

Campaigners are urging the Labour Party to do right by Waspi women

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 05/07/2024

- 15:49

Updated: 15/07/2024

- 10:18

Campaigners are urging Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party to put forward a compensation payout proposal for Waspi women

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign is demanding "fair and fast compensation" from the Government after the Labour Party's historic win.

Prime Minister Keir Starmer is being urged to take action as millions of women impacted by historic state pension age changes are still waiting for justice.

In 2021, the Parliament and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) found the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guilty of "maladministration".

This was in relation to the department's handling of the equalisation of the state pension age between the sexes.

As a result, around 3.8 million Britons are believed to have been adversely affected by the way these changes were communicated.

The subsequent errors led to many women being left unable to adequately prepare for retirement.

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WASPI campiagnerCampaigners are calling on policymakers to do more for women born in the 1950s WASPI

Angela Madden, the chair of the Waspi campaign, was personally impacted by the DWP's "maladministration" and hopes the new Labour Government will address the concerns of women born in the 1950s.

She explained: "Hundreds of candidates who actively support Waspi's calls for fair and fast compensation have been elected to this new Parliament.

"This includes over 70 Liberal Democrat MPs who have been steadfast in their commitment to 1950’s-born women and we look forward to working with them to achieve justice.

"With this definitive majority, Labour has been given a strong mandate for delivering change. It is time for them to make good on their MPs’ and candidates’ record of support to deliver a compensation scheme in the first 100 days of this Parliament.

"Anything else would be to let down millions of 1950s-born women at the very first hurdle and ignoring the Government's own independent watchdog would set the wrong tone for a Government looking to make change."

Earlier this year, the PHSO's follow-up report determined that Waspi women are entitled to Level 4 payout amount of compensation which is worth between £1,000 and £2,950.

The Conservative-led Government under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was carefully considering the ombudsman's recommendation but never put forward a proposal amount of its own.

While the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have agreed to offer compensation to women affected, Labour has stopped short.

Angela Madden and WASPI campaignersMs Madden was left "devastated" by historic changes to the state pension age GETTY/WASPI

A Labour spokesperson said: "The Conservatives had months to respond to the Ombudsman report. We have said throughout the campaign that if we came into office, we would pick up that work. We will not make any pledges we can’t deliver."

During the election campaign, the party reaffirmed its commitment to the state pension triple lock in a boon for older households.

The triple lock guarantees pensioners receive an annual payment rise based on either the rate of inflation, average earnings or 2.5 per cent.

Labour could potentially announce a compensation payout for Waspi women but this is unlikely to take place until September 13, 2024.

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