Liberal Democrats deliver fair pensions for women

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 Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Daniel Henry 12th May '12 - 3:54pm

    It’s good to have Steve in Pensions, even if I do wish he’d do a bit more to hold back IDS and Grayling from some of their crazier ideas, his work on pensions is always very good.

    The one issue with this is that it’ll only help those who retire in 2015.
    Would be nice if we could do something for those who have already retired too.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 12th May '12 - 7:55pm

    This is what I’d thought, but apparently the credit you get is at a reduced rate, less than if you had been working and paying NI.

  • It is a great result. It is a real shame, though, that the Tories are able to steal our clothes when the coalition does good, and force us to the fore when there is bad news.

  • Problem is that with the rising state pension age many will probably never actually get a pension. What was that recently the government were saying about working into our 80s? This coalition put an extra 1 year on my state retirement age, not giving women in my age group the time to compensate for it or have you conveniently forgotten that?

  • paul barker 13th May '12 - 2:03pm

    The people who complain about rising pension ages never complain about rising life expectancy. The fact is that our lifespans rise another year every 5 years, I am quite happy about that. Unfortunately that means the pension age has to keep rising as well.
    Actually the planned rises arent enough to even keep up. If we wanted to get back to the situation of the 1960s we would have to raise the pension age to 75.

  • @ Simon Shaw
    Why do you typically always reply with some sort of attack on Labour? Why is your argument always that it is alright for us to do bad things because Labour did ? The point is that this coalition added extra years too rapidly on one age group of women in their late 50s. Do not assume that everyone is Labour that disagrees with you and please stop playing playground politics all the time. You obviously for one intend to always ally yourself w ith the Tories in coalition which is what will lose you more votes than anything else in 2015. Might as well vote Tory.

  • paul barker

    Life expectancy great for the south but not so great in parts of the north so the changes are not quite as simple as you make out. Funny when we talk about welfare we never mention this as a potential way to save money. Regional pensions at well as regional pay perhaps

    Wonder how much that would save – K&C has a life expectancy 6-7 years more than the average – all in it together!

  • patricia roche 14th May '12 - 7:57am

    Well actually, I am a woman, on a pension. I will be 65 in 18 months time and I am going to lose out big time because of the age related tax change. Please do not say well you are a rich pensioner because I certainly am not. They do not get it if they are rich. As for the rise, because of the change from RPI to CPI I have lost big time on this too. The cost of living rise was due to rampant inflation, not due to ‘giving’ anything. So please make sure you have the answers on the doorstep for these items. I might be older, I am still able to count.

  • @ Simon Shaw
    Yet again a question about Labour. I am well aware of ALL the things Labour did but NOW there is a different government to be held to task or should we all just roll over? I am not a Labour supporter, are you a Tory? My point was that the coalition raised the retirement age of a group of women at very short notice making it impossible to fund. We were ready for the increase that had already been put in place. Where all this extra workforce is going to work however has not been addressed as employers do not want anyone let alone old people. There is going to be extreme poverty and deprivation.

  • patricia roche 15th May '12 - 5:39am

    Simon, for some reason political activists do not listen to what voters are saying. If you are going to quote things to me, at least tell us where you get your figures. ‘I read somewhere’ will not wash on the doorstep at the next election.

  • patricia roche 16th May '12 - 4:18am

    Thank you Simon, it is. It is also unfortunate that it is the Daily Mail, which, I have found, makes massive and sweeping statements which are often wrong, as in this case, it is.

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