BUDGET 2018: Waspi members protest at Budget over lack of pension age announcement

Written by Jack Gray
30/10/18

Members of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group protested Philip Hammond's failure to address their concerns in yesterday’s Budget speech.

Around 80 members of the organisation held up banners and chanted in parliament in protest at the government’s previous decision to raise the state pension age from 60 to 66 in 1995 and the subsequent perceived lack of information and coverage.

The demonstration was not directly organised by Waspi, although a spokesperson from the campaign commented that “it demonstrates the anger and frustration felt by the women, in the UK and abroad, who are waiting up to six extra years for the state pension with little or no notice”.

She continued: “We are not against equalisation, it’s the way it’s been introduced. Women have never been equal in pay or work benefits. Women of our age are affected by age discrimination trying to find work at 60+.”

Waspi claim that an estimated 3.9 million women born in the 1950’s have also been negatively affected by legislation passed in 2005 and 2011.

The protest brought about cheers and applause from the opposition in parliament, which began once the chancellor had sat down following his Budget speech.

Waspi was formed in 2015 to campaign against the apparent unfairness in the way that the state pension age was equalised between men and women was communicated

However, previous attempted to persuade the government into action has proved unsuccessful, with Pensions Minister Guy Opperman claiming that fixing the issues Waspi members want to address, including full compensation, could mean that “ongoing inequality would potentially be created between men and women”.

The spokesperson from Waspi concluded: “We have achieved considerable support in parliament from all the major parties and back bench Tory MPs. There are thousands of complaints of maladministration with the DWP waiting to be passed to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, and we would encourage the Pensions Minister Guy Opperman to take note.”

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