Published On: Mon, Nov 25th, 2019

State pension row: WASPI woman attacks age change ‘injustice’ amid Labour election pledge | Personal Finance | Finance

The age is believed to have affected almost four million women across the UK who missed out on thousands of pounds when the pension age was switched from 60 to 66 under the Pensions Act 2011. Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) spokeswoman Debbie de Spon attacked the “unjust” changes which she claimed left many of the women affected “out of pocket” as she welcomed an offer of compensation from the . Speaking to BBC Politics Live, Ms de Spon said: “Within the cross-party MPs we’ve been speaking to there is a definite desire to get something done for WASPI women.

“Many MPs recognise this has been an injustice and it’s time it was sorted out now.”

The WASPI activist continued: “Yes, it is a lot of money but as I said before it’s about financial choices, about how the money is spent. We have been speaking with Labour for a long time.

“We warmly welcome the commitment by the Labour Party to find a way of . We’ve been campaigning for four years now cross-party and have been very successful in receiving support from MPs from all the major parties. But this is the first tangible offer we’ve seen to compensate the women.”

The Labour Party announced on Saturday they would launch a £58million compensation scheme to pay back the 3.7 million women hit by the changes since 2011.

Shadow Chancellor said the payouts, distributed over five years of Labour government, would help the country settle a “historical debt of honour.”

Discussing the scheme, Mr McDonnell insisted Labour would give back to women hit by a “historical wrong they were not able to prepare for.” He added: “These changes were imposed upon them by a Tory-led government. So we have a historical debt of honour to them and when we go into government we are going to fulfil that debt.”

While the Labour Party manifesto did not mention the amount they would put aside to compensate affected women, the party pledge to “work with these women to design a system of recompense for the losses and insecurity they have suffered. 

The Opposition also pledged to abandon plans by the Conservative Party to raise the state pension age, halting the rises at age 66 – an age which it is set to reach for both men and women in October 2020.

Taling to a WASPI activist attending a special recording of Question Time last Friday, the Prime Minister said: “Well, the WASPI issue as everybody knows is a very difficult problem caused by change in the pension age for women who have retired of a certain age and I do sympathise deeply with the position of the WASPI women.

“And we have looked at it and looked at it and I would love to magic you a solution but it is very expensive to come up with the solution that you want.

“And I’m going to be honest with you tonight, I cannot promise that I can magic up that money for you tonight.

“All of the demands that the WASPI women make. We’re going to look at it but it is not possible to satisfy all the demands of the WASPI women.

“I’m going to put my hands up and confess that.”

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