Waspi women claim ministers ‘in hiding’ after report found historic state pension ‘injustice’

Waspi women claim ministers ‘in hiding’ after report found historic state pension ‘injustice’

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GB News
Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 17/04/2024

- 16:29

Updated: 17/04/2024

- 17:11

The equalisation of the state pension age between men and women has resulted in many women born in the 1950s getting less in retirement than they had expected

Campaigners are urging Government ministers to take action over a historic “injustice” resulting from changes to the state pension age for women.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign is demanding following the publication of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s (PHSO) final report last month.

As part of the PHSO’s report, it was recommended that women born in the 1950s were awarded a Level 4 amount of compensation between £1,000 and £2,950.

It found the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was guilty of “maladministration” in not adequately informing people of how they would be impacted by the equalisation of the state pension age between the sexes.

After the report came out last month, Waspi women have claimed ministers have “gone into hiding” and not responded sufficiently to the group’s calls for justice.

Waspi has highlighted that 3.6 million women were affected after they were not properly informed about increases to their state pension age.

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WASPI protester and women looking concerned about finances

The WASPI campaign is calling for action following the PHSO's report yesterday


As such, the campaign group and supporters in Parliament are calling on Commons Leader Penny Mourdant and Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride to address the concerns raised the ombudsman.

Wendy Chamberlain, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions spokesperson, former Conservative minister John Penrose and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas are among the politicians pushing for a vote on compensation to be called.

In a cross-party letter, the coalition of MPs are pushing ministers to make time for an “urgent debate and vote”.

MPs assert they are prepared to “promptly deliver justice” to women affected by changes to the retirement age.

Parliamentarians hope Government ministers will bring forward compensation proposals before the summer recess.

So far, over 225,000 people have signed an online open letter to Mordaunt, calling for debate and vote as soon as possible.

Angela Madden, the chair of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign, outlined why she believes women are being “failed badly” by the Government.

She explained: “The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report was published nearly one month ago and with no timeline for the Government’s compensation proposals yet published, it appears ministers have gone into hiding.”

“The report contains three straightforward conclusions: the DWP failed us very badly; Waspi women should be compensated; and Parliament should intervene to set up a scheme.

“The Government should listen to the views of the Commons and the country – all MPs must be given an urgent debate and vote before the summer recess so we can finally put an end to this injustice.”


Pensioner looks at letter

Women born in the 1950s were impacted by changes to the state pension age


Chamberlain added: “With MPs returning to Westminster this week, Ministers have the opportunity to set out a clear timetable for delivering compensation and to allow Parliament to debate and vote on any proposals they bring forward.

“With 3,000 Waspi women dying since the release of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report last month, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Concerns raised by the Waspi campaign come amid ongoing debate about the long-term viability of the state pension triple lock.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We are considering the Ombudsman’s report and will respond in due course, having cooperated fully throughout this investigation.

“The government has always been committed to supporting all pensioners in a sustainable way that gives them a dignified retirement whilst also being fair to them and taxpayers.

“The State Pension is the foundation of income in retirement and will remain so as we delivered a further 8.5 per cent rise this month, increasing the state pension for 12 million pensioners. This has seen the full rate of the new state pension rise by £900."

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