25 Feb, 2016
State-pension women “paying for government’s failures”
The SNP pensions spokesman, Ian Blackford, has slammed the UK government by saying that certain women relying on state-pension are “paying for the failures of the economic policy of this Government”.
deVere Group reported in January that a petition to reimburse the affected women had been setup by campaign group WASPI, gathering over 100,000 signatures in response. However, work and pensions minister Shailesh Vara has confirmed that the government aren’t reconsidering their position at this moment in time, meaning the affected women are still on course to lose out despite the backlash.
Essentially, the state-pension age (SPA) for women was set to increase from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020, after plans were set out in 1995. However, the coalition government moved to accelerate this policy in 2011, with the goal of seeing the retirement age of 65 come into force by November 2018 and then increasing to 66 by October 2020.
Mr Blackford commented that he believed the changes were an attempt to reduce the deficit, whilst calling for mitigating measures to be introduced. He told Mr Vara: “You and the Government should be utterly, utterly ashamed of yourselves”.
Further condemnation of the government’s actions came from Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Owen Smith, who described the reforms as a “botch job from start to finish”. Patricia Gibson, SNP MP, suggested that whilst members of WASPI will be disappointed by the government’s stance, they would probably be even more dejected by the huge proportion of men discussing the debate on women’s pensions.
Mhairi Black, the youngest member of the house of commons at 21, emphasised that “pensions are not a benefit, they are a right”, whilst Kirsten Oswald perhaps made the most damning observation of the lot when stating: “It is despicable that the Government is consistently failing to address the transitional arrangements for these women and acknowledge the failings in communication”.
Today’s earlier news - IMF warns the global economy is "highly vulnerable"