The Tory/Lib Dem coalition government decision to accelerate the rise in the women’s state pension age has had a devastating impact on many women who were born in the 1950s.
I support the equalisation of the state pension age, however, I believe it is vital that changes to the state pension age are carefully implemented so that those who are affected are given adequate notice of changes and have enough time to plan for the future.
The decision to accelerate the rise in women’s state pension age has meant that women born in the 1950s did not have enough notice of changes and could not plan for their new circumstances. The impact of these changes has been further exacerbated by the Tory government’s failure to communicate the changes.
Labour has repeatedly called on the Tory government to deliver on its promise to look at transitional arrangements for the 1950s women but they have failed to engage In 2011 the Tory Work and Pensions Secretary committed to looking at transitional provisions to help the women who have been hit hardest by the changes but failed to do so.
Labour recently announced plans to help end the plight of women adversely affected by the Tory government’s changes to their state pension age. Over 2.5 million women born in the 1950s have had their state pension age changed without fair notification. These women deserve both recognition for the injustice they have suffered and some kind of compensation for their losses.
Alongside our commitment to extend Pension Credit to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable women, Labour is exploring options for further transitional protections, to ensure that all these women have security and dignity in older age.
The acceleration of equalisation of the state pension age has had a negative impact on many women in Halton who were born in the 1950s, some of whom are now facing real hardship as a result.
I have received many representations from Halton women born in the 1950’s about this issue and raised their concerns, both by speaking out in Parliament and by writing to Ministers. I believe that action should be taken as a matter of urgency.
I am fully supportive of the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) Campaign and I have nothing but admiration for the work these women have put in fighting for justice for 1950s born women. Halton WASPI have put so much effort into getting justice, they have my utmost respect and support.
If re-elected I will continue to fully support efforts to introduce transitional protections to help the women who have been disadvantaged.