Author Archives: Angela Madden

The Independent View:  WASPI is relying on the Lib Dems to lead the way for 1950s-born women

It is now eight years since we set up the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), to represent women born in the 1950s, whose state pension age was increased without proper notice.

As astute Lib Dems will know, the law was changed by John Major’s government in 1995, but neither his nor Tony Blair’s administration saw fit to tell women about these changes.

P60s were duly issued by HMRC each year, without a word about how women’s retirements would be affected.  The DWP website continued to say the state pension age for women was 60 until 2016!

Liberal Democrats have been the leading party on this issue, taking the trouble to understand what our campaign is really about.  Too often, ministers have hidden behind the completely false idea that we are arguing to reverse state pension age equalisation.  Quite obviously, that would be absurd.

Our campaign argues simply that women were – through no fault of their own – heavily disadvantaged by the Department of Work and Pensions’ successive failures over some two decades.  DWP’s own research in 2004 made clear that women simply didn’t know about the impending changes but still the Department did not get on with targeted mailings to those affected.

The impact of this incompetence and neglect is very real.  In a recent survey of 8,000 WASPI women, we found that three in five had already given up work or cut back on their hours by the time they discovered their state pension would not be paid when they’d expected it.

As anyone in our age group knows, getting back into the workplace at that stage in life is often nigh-on impossible, and as such women found themselves falling back on meagre savings to see them through the gap from 60 to 66.  No wonder one in three is now in debt and one in four has struggled to buy food or basic essentials in the last six months.

When we met with Lord (Dick) Newby recently to discuss the Liberal Democrat manifesto, he spoke for so many of us in saying it’s just unbelievable that this mess has yet to be sorted out.  Since 2015, more than 250,000 of the affected women have died awaiting justice.  Another dies every 13 minutes.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 21 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Martin Gray
    When the European union drapes it's headquarters in the Israeli Flag & it's President declares that it stands side by side with Israel - what's so objection...
  • Martin Gray
    Ultimately - you cannot sustain the current levels of immigration, & solve the housing crisis simultaneously...Sadly too many progressives are infatuated wi...
  • Nonconformistradical
    "Blaming them for promising amenities (to get planning permission) that they then find endless excuses to delay, however…" A key issue and the one which resu...
  • Joe Bourke
    The Renew Europe demand that the EU Council and Commission take responsibility and finally take further steps to apply Article 7, which could lead to the remova...
  • Cassie
    @Simon R – “I don’t think we can blame developers for building the houses they think they can most easily sell for a profit.” I, for one, wasn't blamin...