WASPI urges Rishi Sunak to act on state pension age changes

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WASPI woman says she ‘doesn’t know which way to turn’

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The state pension age was traditionally 60 for women and 65 for men, but changed to 65 for both sexes before rising to 66. Those impacted by the changes were approximately 3.8 million women born in the 1950s, who saw their state pension age rise substantially.

While many, including the WASPI campaign, do not disagree with age equalisation, they take issue with the way in which these changes were implemented.

Thousands of women have said they were not provided with ample notice, and have thus suffered financially and emotionally as a result.

In the latest step by WASPI women to bring attention to their cause, they have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The campaign group has taken this action previously, having written a similar letter to Mr Sunak’s predecessor Liz Truss, calling for assistance.

However, they state the issue remains “despite the revolving door at Downing Street”.

Some 39,000 people have signed the letter, asking the Prime Minister to meet with representatives of WASPI.

The campaign group has also called for “a fair, fast remedy for 1950s-born women, before more of us die waiting for justice”.

WASPI asserts that “every 14 minutes” a woman affected by state pension age changes dies.

The group does not wish to return the state pension age to 60,  nor does it want to recoup ‘lost’ pensions in full.

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However, it is hoped the letter will spark a dialogue between campaigners and the Government.

Angela Madden, campaign chair, told Express.co.uk: “As a campaign, we are more concerned than we have ever been before.

“We’re concerned that while Number 10 has been operating a revolving door and the Government has been distracted with simply trying to stay in power, our political leaders are showing little consideration for those most vulnerable to an impending recession, namely the elderly.

“Despite us constantly seeking to engage with members of the DWP, Rishi Sunak’s government still refuse to meet with WASPI campaigners to discuss potential solutions to tackle the penury caused by the DWP’s incompetence. 

“We call upon the Prime Minister to right the wrongs of his predecessors, and meet with us as soon as possible to address this injustice.”

WASPI has welcomed the Government’s recent commitment to upholding the triple lock mechanism for state pensioners.

The group described the move as a “welcome show of good faith” for older Britons.

But the women argue more needs to be done to assist those who have been affected by the changes.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously addressed the issue when campaigning against Liz Truss earlier this year.

Speaking at a hustings in Cardiff, the then-Tory leadership candidate said: “I’m going to be straight with you. I can’t promise you I’m going to be able to resolve that situation. I cannot promise you I’m going to suddenly radically change my mind. I know that’s not the answer you want, but I’d rather be honest.

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“What I can tell you is that I absolutely believe pensioners should have dignity in retirement and that we should support them.”

A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We support millions of people every year and our priority is ensuring they get the help and support to which they are entitled. We’re also protecting millions of the most vulnerable households with at least £1,200 in direct payments this year.

“The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

 

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