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Conservative MP challenges Govt’s Waspi stance

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A Conservative MP has questioned the government’s position against providing transitional measures for women affected by increases in the state pension age.

In a House of Commons debate this afternoon, Conservative MP for Wellingborough Peter Bone challenged his party’s position of not offering any new protections to address the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign’s calls to help women born in the 1950s who have seen their state pension age rise from 60 to 66.

Bone said: “I just wanted to make it clear it’s not just on that side of the House there are concerns about this. Of course we don’t know what the Autumn Statement will say tomorrow but I do think we ought to at least keep options open to look at this because it’s not very satisfactory this state of affairs.”

Pensions minister Richard Harrington replied: “As my honourable friend knows public finance is very complicated. I know he intends to wait until Wednesday to see what the chancellor has to say, but I can tell him this has been looked at long and hard. Transitional arrangements of more than £1.1bn have been put in place. The state pension age was discussed and then enacted in 1995. There’s been further acts of Parliament and all of this has been extensively discussed.”

Harrington did receive support from a number of other Conservative MPs however, including Gloucester MP and work and pensions committee member Richard Graham, who said Waspi’s solution would “almost certainly be illegal” and “cost an absolute fortune.”

Labour shadow pensions minister Alex Cunningham asked if Harrington had had any discussions with the chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement regarding any potential solutions to the Waspi campaign’s concerns.

Harrington replied: “I can do no better than repeat that transitional arrangements have taken place, the government position is very clear, and I would not like him to think or believe there’s been any change in this.”

“The government will not be introducing further transitional protections beyond the £1.1bn already in place. Going any further could not be justified given the underlying imperative must be to focus public resources on those most in need.”

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Comments

There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Andy Robertson-Fox 21st November 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Having followed the Back Bench Committee approved debate last week led by Ian Blackford (SNP) there does not seem to be much chance of any changes being made.
    As has been reflected in Money Marketıng before the abolition of discrimination against the frozen pensioners who are actually being denied their earned entitlement should be the government’s priority. The Waspi women maybe losing out on their expectations but are not losing anything to which they are entitled.

    • And the WASPI have not earned their pensions, through their NI contributions? Any private company attempting to steal money from people as our government has done would find themselves in court in short order.

      • Andy Robertson-Fox 23rd November 2016 at 10:49 am

        There is no question of stealing money as those that meet the NI contribution conditions will become eligible for payment on reaching the State Retirement Pension Age. Although for many years that was 65 for men and 60 for women that was never set in stone; just a pension on retirement for the remainder of one’s life.
        The bone of contention as I understand it is inadequate notice and the shortness of the transitional timescale.

  2. I hope that this doesn’t happen to you!!! I worked from 16 to 58 before being told for the second time that the Government were going to change my pension date – loads of time to make alternative arrangements!! Then I realised how unfair those changes were – 9 months younger than my best friend but a difference of 33 months in getting my pension.

  3. Why are we not entitled?

  4. Transitional arrangements have emphatically not “taken place” as R. Harrington claims. A concession was made, to cap the second increase in state pension age at 18 months (for women) instead of 2 years. It was costed at £1.1bn and benefited men (who were in fact facing an increase of only 1 year) and women in equal proportions. There is no way that the Government can claim that this was a transitional arrangement – but it doesn’t stop them trying, and at every opportunity.

  5. If WASPI succeeds, can men have the same deal please? In the name of equality.

  6. Interesting that Labour’s proposed transitional arrangement costs less than the original transitional arrangement put in place by the coalition in 2011.

    Despite this, Waspi supporters continue to make pantomine villains out of whoever the offending secretary of state is this week, while canonising opposition MPs who only support at best a slight remedy to the 2011 Pensions Act. The same opposition MPs in many cases who voted to raise the State Pensions Age to 68 in 2007.

    It’s widely acknowledged that the absurdity of the Waspi campaign “solution” makes it easier for the government to ignore the issue. Just as significantly, it also makes it far easier for opposition MPs to pay lip service to the cause rather than work towards any kind of practical solution.

  7. We WASPI women have a few stings in our wings! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned ! Times that by 2.5 million women!!

  8. This government is a disgrace and we will not be going away I paid in all my life and I should be paid out my pension Jeremy corbyn for prime minister and Great Britain because the TORYS are a complete disgrace

  9. You women are the disgrace you ask for equality then when you get say it is unfair.
    Also I do wish you would get your facts right as the equalisation of pensions between men and women was brought in by a Labour government.

  10. My friend who is 9 months older than me is getting her state pension.
    I have to wait another 2 years and 4 months .How can this be right?

  11. My partner who is 2 months older than me will be getting his state pension on his 65th birthday.
    I have to wait 3 months after my 65th birthday I will be older than him.

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