Published On: Thu, Dec 12th, 2019

State pension age change: Peston challenges Labour’s John McDonnell over WASPI pledge | Personal Finance | Finance

Labour has promised to compensate women born in the 1950s who were impacted by a dramatic state pension age change with a huge £58billion fund. This has raised controversy, as the pledge came after the Labour Party’s manifesto launch. During an interview with Robert Peston last night, John McDonnell hit back at claims that the £58billion could have been better spent elsewhere.

Peston grilled the senior Labour figure on his party’s offer to WASPI women. 

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) argue they should be reimbursed for the thousands they have missed out on after paying into the system for years.

Peston said: “You promised £58billion to helping those women born in the 1950s whose pensions were delayed.

“Quite a lot of that money will go to people with perfectly decent standards of living and incomes.”

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He continued: “Like Theresa May who will be getting £30,000 from a Labour Government.”

Labour’s shadow chancellor responded: “That will be dealt with by a progressive taxation.

“This is not about benefits, this is about entitlement.”

Peston suggested the other benefits freezes “were just as unexpected for those groups as the pensioners”.

Peston responded: “But the IFS have pointed out you are not reversing austerity in those areas.”

Mr McDonnell has been targeted on his party’s WASPI pledge several times in the past week.

Earlier this week, Sky News host Kay Burley hit out at Labour’s “magic money tree”. 

He was involved in a heated debate with BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning as he was quizzed on the uncosted pledge.

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