Martin Docherty-Hughes MP has welcomed a major step forward for thousands of women in West Dunbartonshire seeking justice over UK government changes to their state pensions.
A ruling this week by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failed to adequately inform 1950s-born women that their state pension age would be increasing.
A report on the Ombudsman’s investigation has been laid before parliament, detailing numerous failings by the UK government in its handling of pension age equalisation and clear maladministration by the DWP.
Across the UK millions of women have had their state pension qualifying age changed by up to six years with little or no notice, leading to the formation of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.
An estimated 6,300 women in West Dunbartonshire born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1960 face being up to £48,000 out of pocket as a result of the pension age changes.
West Dunbartonshire’s SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has been campaigning alongside the local WASPI group led by co-ordinator Liz Daly to press the UK government to offer fair compensation to all the women affected.
Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:
“After years of being ignored and dismissed by Westminster, this ruling is a vindication for all the WASPI women in their tireless campaign for justice.
“More than 350,000 women in West Dunbartonshire and across Scotland are being robbed of their state pensions by the UK government – pensions that they have worked hard for all of their lives.
“The Ombudsman’s investigation clearly shows that the DWP failed to adequately inform 1950s-born women that their state pensions age would be increasing – leading to financial hardship for many.
“This ruling is an important step forward, but it’s crucial now that the UK government listens to the Ombudsman’s findings and acts on the recommendations once published in due course.
“The fight goes on and my SNP colleagues and I will continue to stand with Scotland’s WASPI women till they secure the fair compensation they deserve.”
A link to the report published by the Ombudsman is available here: www.ombudsman.org.uk/news-and-blog/news/womens-state-pension-age-communications-inadequate-ombudsman-finds