5,800 LOCAL WOMEN DENIED PENSIONS FOR YEARS AS WELFARE CLAIMS SOAR
There are growing calls for funding to be made available in the UK Government Budget for the WASPI women denied their pension rights as local MP, Marion Fellows, writes to the Chancellor.
Her letter includes figures from the House of Commons Library showing that 5,800 women in the Motherwell and Wishaw constituency will be affected by the UK Government’s pension age policy. 3,400 will have the longest wait of six years.
Since women’s pension age increase in 2013, there has been a 460% increase in women over-60 claiming and Employment Support Allowance and an 80% increase in those claiming Job Seekers Allowance and Universal Credit.
Mrs Fellows made the call only weeks after joining the WASPI women from the Lanarkshire branch on their protest outside Parliament.
Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:
The Chancellor has an opportunity with his Budget on Monday (29 October 2018) to reinstate the WASPI women’s pension rights. To do nothing would be an appalling abdication of responsibility for these women who are now turning to other forms ESA and the shambolic Universal Credit to support themselves.
Men’s and women’s pension age has to be equalised, but it has to be done in a manner that eases generations into the increase rather than the shock treatment women are facing. People plan years ahead for their retirement. Their plans are now scuppered as they face financial difficulty.
Many women affected weren’t even notified of the change by the Tory Lib-Dem coalition. It is not justifiable under the circumstances for 5,800 women to wait longer to retire and for 3,400 to wait as long as six years.
The SNP commissioned independent research in2016 which outlined a number of options to provide these women with additional support. The Chancellor must look again and bring forward the necessary funds to support the WASPI women.