Amidst the turmoil of last week in Parliament it’s worth noting that lobbying on important matters goes on. And so it was when the WASPI Women returned to Parliament with their campaign. Women Against State Pension Inequality or WASPI represents 3.8 million women, around 6000 in my constituency, born in the 1950’s, who have been negatively impacted by increases to the State Pension age. They argue that people needed time to prepare for any change in the State Pension age yet many women were not properly informed. Some are suffering huge financial difficulties as a result but it is not just about money. It is also about trust in Government and about fair treatment for those adversely affected. They are the generation who worked hard, raised their family and contributed greatly to this country, with the expectation that women would retire at 60 and men at 65. My party has proposed looking at Pension Credit for those in financial hardship as a result of the change. We are also looking at reducing the retirement age for women which would provide a partial solution at no extra cost and we’re consulting on what else can be done. The current Prime Minister said during his leadership campaign that “we need to return to this issue with fresh vigour” but it’s not mentioned in the Queens Speech and like the “no border in the Irish Sea” looks like another ditched promise.

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