So, here it is in the Guardian, the paper that’s been so critical of the Coalition in general and the Lib Dems in particular, these past two years. The announcement that many of us have wanted to see for as long as we’ve been politically active. That women who take time out of the labour market to care for children or sick relatives will not be penalised in their old age.
This is an example of the Coalition delivering a major benefit to mainly women. And although it’s Iain Duncan Smith who’s quoted in the article, make no mistake, it’s Liberal Democrat Pensions expert Steve Webb who’s put this together.This is the man who found a fault with the way some women’s pensions had been calculated in opposition and got the DWP to sort it, giving many women a pension boost of more than £1000 so he has a lot of previous form in getting justice for women pensioners.
The fact that women are penalised in old age for taking on caring roles that would cost the State a fortune if they didn’t has always been a horrendous injustice. Liberal Democrats have been banging on about changing it for decades. And do you know what? First chance of power we get, we sort it. How good is that?
We need to get out on people’s doorsteps and make sure people know that it’s the Liberal Democrats who are responsible for them paying less tax, for increasing their State Pension by £5.30 a week, for changing a fundamentally unfair Pensions system.
The reason we’re willing to take the pain that this Coalition brings us is so that we can deliver things like this. It’s two years today since we watched Nick Clegg enter Downing Street for the first time as Deputy Prime Minister. I wrote at the time that my emotions were lurching between horror, pride, fear and hope. They still are. This is a good day, though.
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings