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SNP rolls back Waspi support over new pensions legislation

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The Scottish National Party has declined to lend its support to the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign through an amendment to upcoming legislation to assist them.

Money Marketing understands that in a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Waspi on Wednesday, the SNP confirmed they would not support adding a Waspi related clause into the Pensions Schemes Bill, which is currently being reviewed in the House of Commons.

Waspi is campaigning for transitional measures for women for in the 1950s who have seen their state pension age increase.

The Bill mainly includes measures to strengthen rules on master trusts and paves the way for exit charge caps.

The Bill has its second reading on Monday.

SNP pensions spokesman Ian Blackford MP says that the decision not to support the Waspi amendment was because the party had been advised it was out of scope for a Bill on private pensions, and would put the new master trust regulations at risk.

Blackford says: “The SNP are fully committed to fighting for justice for the WASPI women who have had their retirement plans completely shattered by the UK government.  SNP MPs have raised this issue at least 44 times in the House of Commons, commissioned independent research and refuse to stop fighting for justice for the WASPI women.

“It is totally disingenuous for any politician to suggest that the SNP refused to support the campaign. A suggestion for a reasoned amendment to kill the Pensions Scheme Bill, was proposed – however this would help no-one only remove the helpful regulation provisions within the Bill related to master trusts.”

“The SNP are advised by clerks that it is unlikely that any provision for changes relating to the state pension will be within the scope of this tightly drafted bill, however, as we have consistently said, if possible at further stages, where the bill can be enhanced and provision for the WASPI women can be included, we will certainly do so.”

A letter from an MP to a Waspi member seen by Money Marketing expressed disappointment at the decision, however.

“As you know there have been various opposition day and general debates on Waspi in recent months, but those are simply a way of talking about the issue, they do not force the Government to act or to listen to Waspi women.

“This Bill is different, as it is Government legislation and the Bill is of a suitable topic that we can amend it to include a clause about Waspi. Tabling the amendment is just the beginning. In order for an amendment to make it onto the statute books and become law, it would need cross-party support, especially from Labour and the SNP.

“Given the SNP has used some of its opposition day debate slots to debate Waspi issues, it was an extremely unpleasant surprise to the APPG to learn from the SNP that they would not support the amendment…Without the SNP’s support there is no chance of the amendment passing.

“I am at a loss to explain their u-turn on their support for Waspi.”

Blackford MP and other SNP MPs such as Mhairi Black have been vocal on the Waspi issue previously, describing the lack of transitional arrangements for women affected by state pension increases as a “gross injustice”.

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Comments

There are 17 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Why would an amendment to State Pension legislation be a suitable topic for a bill to “make provision about pension schemes”? As I understand it the scope of a bill was deliberately narrow to prevent any state pension related hi-jacking of the bill. Any amendments have to be within the scope of the bill; the initial debates in the Lords appeared to confirm that any WASPI amendments would not be.

    Based on that, this appears to be rather predictably more political jockeying from politicians who want to be seen to be supporting WASPI, but have no realistic and workable solution. In parallel with the split within WASPI, the “supportive” MPs now appear to be fighting amongst themselves rather than admitting that nothing is going to change and no party has any plan to address even a fraction of the grievances.

    • Mariana Robinson 27th January 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Ian Blackford and the SNP are wholly supportive of the injustice to 1950s born women. The problem is with journalists who see us all as belonging to WASPI. There are many thousands of women campaigning who have been thrown out of WASPI for having a more sensible compromise ask of government. 63 is the new 60 for one. Protest Against the 2011 Act for another. These groups don’t grab the headlines but have credible proposals, costed, and before the APPG. It seems that the APPG only wants to support WASPI and this is not fair. The SNP came up with their own proposal, paid for and costed by their party, and which Ian Blackford and Mhairi Black have wholly supported. This was also a compromise solution. It’s in the government’s interest to only listen to Waspi Limited, who do not speak for all 1950’s born women suffering as a result of these pension changes without any notice.

      If journalists want to support a sensible “ask” then come along to the .Combined Women’s Action rally on Tuesday 21 February 2017 between Waterloo tube station, Westminster Bridge and the H of P, where they will be meeting with MPs.

      • Hmm, and a deafening silence to other aspects such as pension credit age for MEN. Did the DWP inform MEN they’d no longer be able to claim pension credit at age SIXTY anymore! And what about the government’s impact assessment – which seems to me to be admitting that 50’s born MEN of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin would be hit worst of all by the pension credit changes. A discriminatory Act?

  2. I am dismayed that the SNP have failed to back us in the ammendement after all there promises to fight with us for justice until the end!!! It was the SNP leading the way cross parties. Thousands off 50s woman are being used again jockeying in parliament!!
    It is about time all parties stood up for our unjust treatment,
    The Labour Party need to wake up, & start representing us WASPI WOMAN, words are cheap action is seen!!!
    I’m a proud WASPI WOMAN WE HAVE BACK BONE AND WERE HERE FOR JUSTICE, WE WILL STAND TOGETHER NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES,.

    • The real I equality here was tge fact that mens life expectancy is significantly shorter than a women’s. Despite this men did not get to collect their state pension till 5 years after a woman. That was the greatest inequality here. Expanding this inequality against men would be more u just

      • The reason men’s life expectancy is shorter is because working beyond 60 significantly reduces life expectancy … for teachers it reduces from 18 years on average to 18 months. Any action by government is not made to bring in an equality of sexes; it is about reducing the likelihood of paying any pension. And raising the pensionable age will ultimately reduce life expectancy of most people for the same reason. By the way, you forget it’s women who mostly raise families, combine work with family, take care of elderly parents and grandchildren. This will all cease with the governments actions.

  3. I agree totally with Jocelyn, like her last para we 1950’s women need to stand together and get the justice we are all entitled to.

  4. My friend was born July 1953, she gets her pension in March aged 63 and half, me born May 1955 have to wait until May 2020, 2 and half years after my friend, where is the fairness in this. Bad enough I have to wait for my pension without feeling badly treated by the government

  5. Lorraine Reddick 27th January 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Purely disgusted at SNP yet they’ll b wanting my vote to b independent . They can forgot no way

  6. I am so OVER THIS it goes to show that the Parliament is full of IDIOTS, SPINLESS, TWO FACED PEOPLE. HOW can the SNP SUPPORT women of the 50’s and now are PULLING BACK. WASPI women are used to being treated like something under your shoe dealing with lower salaries and being treated like 3rd class citizens NOW THIS. I feel like digging a hole and burying myself ALIVE this will give ME PEACE. So I don’t have to worry daily about how am I going to feed myself pay my bills. I can see NO WAY OUT. TO the SNP’s THANKS FOR NOTHING

  7. Christine Miller 28th January 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Next fight for Scottish WASPI’s…..The SNP government are starting consultations with a view to changing the over 60’s entitlement to free bus transportation…possibly increasing the age to qualify for your bus pass and bringing it in for Modern Apprentices (if you have one now … you won’t be affected)…I won’t get my retirement pension till I am 66 and am appalled that I may have to wait till over 60 for my bus pass… spread this news to your friends and colleagues who could be affected so we can bombard our MSP’s with our views….thanks

  8. WASPI or GRASPI as they’re now known, are becoming an ever more desperate group, fighting a cause they’ll never win.

  9. Hard to believe people’s retirement plans are shattered given almost everyone will have one or more of (1) material financial support in a partnership (2) non-state provision (3) means-tested state provision

  10. If your retirement plans hinge on state pension – you don’t have a plan.

  11. I was born in nov1953 and started work at the age of 15yr and have contributed to the system that was to give me a pension at the age of 60yrs . The pension age was always 65yrs of age for men and 60yrs for a woman I agree that some of us (not all) are living longer and it should be equal for both sexes but what this government has done to the women of this era is totally beyond belief . we have more than contributed have more than 40yrs of paying into the state .As anybody noticed that the MPs of Parliament never have their golden pensions cut or the £300 pounds a day that the house of lords get for falling asleep or just for turning up. It’s about time this government lead by example and be the first to take the cuts that they put on the working people of this country.

  12. I am one of the women born 1954 and did not receive notice from the DWP but I did find out that my pension age was rising due to requesting a pension forecast when my husband retired. This is not about equality but the time scale as my pension age retirement age has gone up by 5.5 years. The first increase in pension age I could have accepted but to have 2 increases in such a small time scale without adequate notice seems totally unacceptable. I feel that the 1954 age group has been the hardest hit but we need to be realistic in our expectations. Perhaps a solution would be to pay women affected from the first pension rise to the 2nd i.e 1.5 years pension whilst keeping the the retirement age the same. This will still be hard for women that have already given up work but if they set too high a target then the government will not agree anything. Yes I believe the government need to come to the table and accept that these women were not treated fairly but be too unrealistic and we will not get anywhere.

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