Tories ‘ducking their responsibility’ for WASPI women, says SNP

UK government urged to “right a wrong” on women’s pension inequality.

The SNP have today (Tuesday) said the UK government must use the Autumn Statement to “right a wrong” on women’s pension inequality and criticised the government for “ducking their responsibility” to millions of women hit by unfair pension changes.

In a Westminster Hall debate on the acceleration of the state pension age for women born in the 1950s, SNP MPs Ian Blackford and Mhairi Black will call on the government to act and implement the transitional measures needed to deliver justice to the Local Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) group.

The debate, which has received cross-party support, follows on from a long-standing campaign by SNP MPs with WASPI women who have been affected by pension changes.

The SNP have argued that transitional measures to mitigate the issue would cost significantly less than the UK government’s £30 billion figure, with independent research commissioned by the SNP showing the cost would only sit at £8 billion.

Ian Blackford MP, the SNP’s Pensions spokesperson, said: “The UK government has for far too long been ducking their responsibility on introducing measures that would deliver justice to WASPI campaigners and millions of those affected by the rapid rises to the State Pension Age.

“This Westminster Hall debate is another step towards ensuring that the contract the UK government has broken with these women is lived up to.

“I urge the Chancellor to right a monumental wrong and lay out in his Autumn Statement plans to mitigate the impact pension inequality has had on WASPI campaigners.

“Our proposals would delay the increase in pensionable age which is currently increasing at three months for every month meaning a woman born in early 1954 will be nearly two and a half years older than a woman born a year earlier before she gets her pension.

“Slowing the rate of pensionable age increases would cost £7.9 billion up to 2020/21, easily affordable with the national insurance fund expected to be at a near £30 billion surplus next year.”

SNP MP Mhairi Black, who has campaigned for WASPI women, added: “If the Chancellor fails to address the issue of unequal pensions for the women affected in the Autumn Statement then it will only echo the UK government’s continued deafening silence and lack of action.

“If we have billions of pounds to be able to house nuclear weapons then the government surely has the money to pay these women their overdue and earned pensions.

“Independent figures have shown the UK government have inflated the figure on how much it would cost for transitional measures.”

This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).

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