MHAIRI BLACK MP CALLS FOR NEW WORK AND PENSIONS MINISTER TO FIX THE WASPI ISSUE
“I cannot believe we are still here, still debating this issue”, Mhairi Black said in a Westminster Hall debate on the State Pension age for women.
Mhairi Black, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, has called on the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to address the issue of unfair state pension changes, which have disproportionately hit women born in the 1950s.
Successive Government’s since 1995 have increased the age at which women become eligible for state pension but never notified the women affected about the changes. This has left many in a position of financial hardship as they have not had adequate time to amend their financial planning for retirement.
Commenting after the debate Mhairi Black said:
“The Government’s current position is untenable, and the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions needs to look again at this issue. Given the Tories’ slim majority, and the fact that twenty of their MPs signed a pledge during the election campaign to support the WASPI women, they need to move quickly and bring forward plans to sort this out.
“Hundreds of women have written to me over the past two years sharing the desperate struggle they face because the Government refuses to fix this problem. Given that the Government just found £1 billion down the back of the couch to keep themselves in power, I would think they are able to find the money to ease the hardship of these women, including over 3,800 women in Renfrewshire.
“I cannot believe that we are still debating this issue. The women affected are guilty of nothing other than being born in the fifties and being women. This policy hurts women and only women so there is a clear irony in claiming that this has been done in the name of equality.
“I noted with interest that the Minister has committed to helping any individual who is suffering because of these issues so I ask that any WASPI woman in my constituency who are suffering hardship because of the changes to state pension age to get in touch with my office and I will make sure your information is sent to him.”