The SNP has called on the UK government to immediately revisit the state pension inequalities for women born in the 1950s as a petition from the Women Against State Pensions Inequality (WASPI) was debated in the House of Commons.
Paisley’s Mhairi Black MP led a backbench business debate on the issue at the beginning of January and the SNP’s motion, that called on the UK government to introduce transitional measures, received cross-party support.
The WASPI Campaign’s petition, which calls fair transitional state pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s, has attracted more than 140,000 signatures.
Mhairi Black MP, who sits on the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said:
“The dedication and commitment of those involved in the Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign is second to none and I am pleased that we have another opportunity to shed some light on the gross unfairness that successive governments have allowed to fall on these women.
Despite cross-party support in the House of Commons for fair transitional arrangements for the women who has been so badly let down by pension reforms, the UK government has so far refused to act.
Pensions are not a benefit, they are a contract – the UK government has broken that contract and it is vital that action is taken now to revisit the inequalities felt by women born in the 1950s immediately.”
West Dunbartonshire’s Martin Docherty MP supported his colleague’s debate in January and last week joined cross party calls for fair transition arrangement to be put in place.
Speaking in the debate he pointed out further inequality with same sex female couples being doubly disadvantaged. He said,
“We have talked about the amount of money that women will lose in terms of detriment. I hope that the Minister takes this on board. We heard earlier about women relying on their husbands to make up their income, but in the case of women who are married to women, both suffer detriment because of the changes in pension age.”
Afterwards he added,
“Women born in the 1950s are having their futures jeopardised by the UK Government and this is a battle the SNP are going to keep fighting. This will be particularly detrimental for single women or same sex female couples. We cannot allow a whole generation of women to live in poverty when they retire. It is a moral imperative that the UK Government rethink these plans and put proper transitional arrangements in place.”
Notes for Editor
Martin Docherty MP’s interjection to the debate is noted here:
The petition can be viewed here: