Labour: Govt needs to ‘show us the money’ on women’s state pension issue

Angela Rayner

Labour has called on the Government to “show us the money” on transitional measures it says it has considered for women affected by the rise in state pension age.

In an evidence session for the Work and Pensions committee, pensions minister Ros Altmann confirmed the Government would not be making any more changes to help women who say they were not given adequate notice of a change in their retirement date.

But ahead of a Westminster Hall debate today, new shadow pensions minister Labour MP Angela Rayner tells Money Marketing the Government has been “disingenuous” in its approach to the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign.

She says: “I hope the Government does something. They’ve talked previously about looking at transitional arrangements and I think there is a possibility to do something.

“I find it really disingenuous when the Government talks about the Waspi campaign as if they are asking for the equalisation measures to be undone, it’s quite clear that’s not what they are asking for.”

Waspi says successive governments failed to give women born in the 1950s enough notice to react to two changes in their state pension age, introduced in 1995 and 2011.

Altmann has said the Government has looked at measures to help affected women but Rayner says the DWP must publish its costings.

She says: “I’ve asked some questions to the Government about exactly what transitional arrangements they have looked at and what costings have been done. I can’t speculate on how much any action could cost if they are not publishing the information. The civil servants in the DWP need to answer those questions and give us the cost analysis.”

She adds: “How much are we spending at the moment on areas like means-tested benefits because we failed to give the women the information? These are highly intellectual women, they understand the situation they are in. They know there is not an amount of money floating around somewhere that they can just grasp at.

“The fundamental issue is about fairness. The Government can play smoke and mirrors with this but there is money around, and if they are saying it costs too much show us the money, show us the figures.

“They promised they would look at transitional arrangements and we’ve not seen any evidence that has happened.”