Why the shabbily treated 50’s women pensioners must go on the offensive and win back their money

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

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Time to get MPs to back the case of the 50s Women pensioners who have lost out

Today the One Voice BackTo60 group  published a report by me that they commissioned on  the case for lowering the pension age from 65, to going on 66,  to 60.

The idea is regarded by all main parties as impossible  and prohibitively expensive  and all conventional thinkers believe cannot be achieved.

They base their claims on growing longevity, that the national insurance fund  which pays out pensions is in the red, that all of the rest of Europe is raising pensions and that the new pension age is an equality measure.

All these facts are WRONG. For the first time in the UK , the projected age when we die is FALLING in poorer areas.

The National Insurance Fund is in the black. The hardship that 50’s pensioners are facing today are a calculation to save the government putting up national insurance rates until 2030. If the government did restore the money owed to the 50s pensioners, it would still be in the black until well beyond 2020.

The tide has begun to turn in Europe against raising the pension age. Poland, a country much poorer than the UK but starting to catch up with us fast, has LOWERED the pension age from 62 to 60. France under Macron is considering whether to implement a pledge by former president Mitterand to lower the pension age from 62 to 60.

And the idea of having of having an equal pension age for men and women is only superficially equal because of a host of unequal measures that the 1950s generation has had to put up with since they were born – from not being able to get mortgages, lower pay, lower occupational pensions, expected to quit work for long periods to bring up a family etc etc.

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One Voice The group that is challenging the government over the shabby treatment of 50s women.

So how can the 3.3 million women affected get a result. For a start they are many and the Establishment are few. Their sheer voting power is enough to change any general election result.

Then you have two official reports – one by the totally respected House of Commons library and the other the  current five year review of the state of the national insurance fund.

You need to weaponise the facts contained in both those reports to your advantage.

The House of Commons library report contains an accompanying document that gives a breakdown of where you all are – by Parliamentary constituency. Check the MPs majority and target him or her to change their mind. MPs are always worried about being re-elected, play on their fears.

The NI fund reveals the money is there – but also reveals that a future generation of pensioners will suffer if wages don’t go up ( that automatically increases NI contributions) and also if immigration stops – the flow of young, healthy people to  the UK who automatically pay into the NI fund increases resources for pensioners ( elderly people don’t come to  the UK because of its  cold damp, drizzly winters – they prefer sunny Spain or Portugal).

Then there are the political  parties. Not a single mainstream party has a decent policy for you.

The Tories only plan further rises in the pension age and have no interest in helping you out.

The Labour Party’s  works and pensions spokesperson Debbie Abrahams has a cost neutral proposal which reduces the age to 64  but gives you a reduced pension for life. Totally unsatisfactory.

The Liberal Democrat spokesman, Stephen Lloyd, has an idea of giving everyone of you £15,000 tax free – a sticking plaster plan. How can you live on £15,000 for six years in some cases?

Put very simply you can explain to the Tories that they are in government because of older people’s votes. Tell them you won’t for them and very likely they won’t be in government.

You can influence Labour  by targeting its huge membership of nearly 570,000. This means that even in constituencies where there is a big Tory majority – there is often now a big  local Labour Party. For example my constituency Hertfordshire  South West ( incidently the safe seat of David Gauke, the former works and pensions secretary) has 800-900 members. Lobby them, get them to put up a motion to the next party conference and get the Labour Party to change its policy.

You can also influence the Liberal Democrats – who now have more members than the Tories – and the Scottish and Welsh Nationalists to do the same thing.

Show them you are not going away and redress the shabby treatment you have received and win the argument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 thoughts on “Why the shabbily treated 50’s women pensioners must go on the offensive and win back their money

  1. Pingback: “Why the shabbily treated 50’s women pensioners must go on the offensive and win back their money” | David Hencke | COMRADE BOYCIE: VIVA THE ANTI-TORY/BIG BROTHER REVOLUTION!

  2. Pingback: Why the shabbily treated 50’s women pensioners must go on the offensive and win back their money | David Hencke – leftwingnobody

  3. Dear David

    This is an excellent article, highlighting how women can influence their MPs and push to have changes made.

    However, I am curious to know why you do not regard the Scottish National Party as a mainstream party. With 35 seats, almost three times as many as the the Lib Dems, the SNP have much more influence than the Lib Dems in parliament.

    They are also the ONLY party to support the claims of the WASPI women. Consider the many passionate speeches on this front made by Mairi Black, amongst others.

    I hope you will bear this in mind in any future articles.

    David Patrick

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  4. Thank you for this informative report David, I’m a 1950s woman and lost my job just before Christmas. The only employer slightly interested in me is a little local school, it’s zero hours and to be on a relief register to be called if someone calls in sick. We are relying on my husbands pension. I’ve recently been diagnosed with severe depression, I’ve always worked and paid my dues, I always knew old age would be tough but didn’t realise it would be almost impossible to get through each day.

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  5. The results of most 50 s women is anger
    The government have stolen our pensions 6yrs to go without pay is degrading and in some cases suicidal .

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    • Thank you David, good to read about my Favorite Depressing Subject, as I do not know what is the Government doing about My Pension! I am going to be 63 years old this year, I have given this Country 45 years of Service to this Country, I work in Social Care with Advanced Dementia and also with People with Learning Disability/Mental Health. I love my job, I give 100 + to the people I care and Support because I cannot do less, as I put myself in their position. The job is Mentally and Physically draining, although, I feel that I can still give so much to the people I care and Support but I very much would like some quality time for myself, I would be the Happiest woman if I Mrs May give it a though and give us our pension with back dated. What I cannot understand, how come the Gov is getting away with Robbing us – 50s women!! What the Government is doing – forcing me to do a job that could lead to Abuse and Neglect. How can Vulnerable looks after Vulnerable? Also, by forcing me is an Abuse!!! Now, who is going to do something about it??? I am very stressed day by day, all that I want is what is mine, I cannot rest, Mrs May is Torturing me and many others like myself. She is making me ill, Feeling very Low knowing that I have been Robbed from my own hard working money! neglecting myself and being forgetful. I get very personal at work and can lose my job, as I see so much misused of resources from the Gov Funds. Too much of Benefit is being handing out without proper assessment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. David – you have cited but not quoted publicly available information which contains te DWP estimate of back to 60 for 50s women only at £77 bn. Furthermore,is it your view that men’s SPA will increase under the various Acts but women’s reduce? I’m afraid report this is a shoddy piece of paid for advocacy where the research is poor and the facts incorrect.A proper reading of the NIF accounts would have helped.

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    • Mark
      I have clarified the point in the report that £29 billion applies only to the raising of the state pension from 65 to 66. I left out a specific figure for the rest as I have seen two estimates quoted – one of £77 billion and the other £100 billion.
      However whatever it is – there is an override from the last NI quinquennial review which takes account of both changes and says as a result the fund will stay in surplus until 2030.
      I note you repeat a mantra by others saying the report is riddled with mistakes without referring to what they are. I am rather surprised at this since I draw a lot of the information from the November House of commons library report on the 50s pensioners and the NI quinquennial review and a Commons work and pension committee report on the subject. References to Poland come from the respected news agency Reuters and I note the recent reversal of longevity forecasts in poor areas is considered serious enough to warrant an investigation by Public Health England. Unless of course you are saying these reports are shoddy as well which I very much doubt.

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      • David – The only official costing is that of £ 77 bn up to 2020/21 and provided in evidence to the WPSC by the DWP.This has been included in all the subsequent Parliament Library briefings and it seems odd to say the least that you have chosen not to mention it,whilst otherwise drawing freely from that research.That of course does not recognise that back to 60 for women only would be gender discriminatory.In your reading of the NIF accounts you omit to mention that the fund is obligated to maintain a minimum of 2 months payments as a working balance nor that Government was obliged to inject just under £14bn into the fund 2014-2016.The surplus for this estimated at around £5 bn ,which is expected to fall next year.The 2011 and 2014 impact assessments produce an estimated £100 bn of savings to the fund ,to which you have to add £60 bn plus from reversing 1995 for women.It is disingenuous to suggest that there is sufficient money in the fund to pay for back to 60 – The maths simply don’t work out.

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      • I have of course read the quinquennial review and I am mystified why you think it overrides the numbers I have provided .To the contrary,if the cost benefits of increases in state pension age for women were put back into the equation,the fund would be plunged into immediate deficit. It would also be politically and legally unsupportable for men’s pension age to increase whilst women reverted to 60.Can you not see that ?

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      • I am a bit puzzled about your reference to every Parliamentary report mentioning £77 billion – I could not find it in the November library report which is pretty comprehensive. Some figures like the number of people affected also seem to vary. An FOI answer from the DWP puts it at 3.5m yet the accompanying constituency breakdown puts it at 3.77m for example.
        I totally agree under the present system of pay as you go it will be very expensive. But at the same time I think the injustice felt by the large numbers of women involved, means something will have to be done. I have never had such a response from any blog I have written- it now stands at over 18,500 to the idea of withdrawing votes from MPs who don’t support the change.
        For many of the women if they haven’t the money to heat their home or pay for food – it overrides any other issue whether it is Brexit or whether the candidate is left, right or centre.
        As for men wanting it down to 60, as a 70 year old man drawing a pension I wouldn’t expect it to be backdated to 60. The government kept the contract I had at 21 promising me a pension if I contributed at 65 which is more than it has for the women.
        Also the 50 year old carer for my wife is now planning to quit her job soon because she knows that she won’t have the physical energy required for caring when she is 67 and is looking for more sedentary work now. People just won’t do jobs demanding physical work in their 60s.That is the reality of what is happening now.

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      • David – thank you for replying.The £77bn number is quoted in para 5.1 of the November Parliament Library briefing.It is more fully covered in the WPSC report on the increase in women’s state pension age,which is also required reading for anyone covering this subject.It is easily established that in law the state pension is a contributory benefit and thereby non contractual – The terms are as set by the will of Parliament and enacted in the relevant laws.As the state pension age rises life is certainly becoming harder for those most disadvantaged ,particularly under the current harsh benefits regime.If you were to advocate improvements in means tested benefits for those over 60 I would happily support you,but asking any government to prioritise one gender I irrespective of need is something I will always take issue with?It should not be Labour policy to shower large amounts of public money on those who have no need for it – the policy of pension credit elegibilty in advance of state pension age needs tweaking in order to be gender neutral,but has much to recommend it.
        .

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      • There isn’t a contract in place for state pensions. They are, as Mark states, a contributory benefit, and this is a position that has been reinforced by ECHR rulings.

        The terms of the state pension have changed numerous times over the decades since it was set up, in terms of contribution requirements, entitlements, conditions etc. Some have been favourable, and some not. At what point do we need to revert to? 1948?

        However, if for argument’s sake we run with state pension age increases being “illegal”, it would need to apply equally to all men and women who have had their state pension age increased, which is the vast majority of working people in the country.

        In the past decade and a half we have had two extremely thorough reviews of the state pension system, commission by both labour and conservative governments. The proposals put forward by these reviews were both based on the position that state pension age can and should be increased to correspond with life expectancy improvements and the demographic shifts in the ratio of workers to pensioners.

        If we are now saying that the state pension is a “contract”, we urgently need a further review of state pension age that somehow takes into account state pension ages fixed at 65/60, and the wider implications that this will have.

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  7. Dear David Hencke, I am seriously considering starting a new pensioner political party GREY SWANS for the grey vote of the poor, near poor and just managing of the 1950s ladies and pensioners of all ages. But obviously with domestic policies for all ages. No foreign policy / Brexit free zone. Labour has only youth policies, no state pension policies at all in its Manifesto. Would you be interested in running as an MP candidate for GREY SWANS (yet to start up) but getting celebrity endorsement as your esteemed self, would help it come into being. Facebook page GREY SWANS. Core policy pension 60 men and women, increased state pension, move to
    non contributory state pension system like Norway’s based on oil wealth and global investment fund (that absorbed the NI Fund within it). To run in Tory marginals where 1950s ladies abound to near or above the marginal winning vote by the sitting Tory MP and also to run against what is left of the Lib Dems MPs. Only in England, maybe in Wales. The SNP / Scottish parliament have the upcoming basic income pilots so that is a solution for Scottish 1950s ladies. https://www.facebook.com/groups/209793799594788/

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    • Hi,
      It is a very of you to suggest I might stand for parliament. Having been a political correspondent for a long time in Westminster I am a bit inured to doing that. I prefer to investigate as a journalist. But the idea in general could be a runner- probably woerth taking to Joanne Welch of BackTo60 about it.

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      • Dear David Hencke, I am not a member of BackTo60 group because I inadvertently put my petition to Labour for pension 60 men and women policy for the 2018 Labour Manifesto on the BackTo60 group page, so I think I got called a saboteur to the crowdfunding of the BackTo60 court case, which quite obviously it is not.

        But it might have been construed that because the public do not understand the structure of parliament and think every politician sat in the House of Commons is the government, not comprehending only one side is the government and the rest of the parties are in opposition. This is from the viral phrase of
        Why Are They Arguing all the time, why not just get on with the work of government?

        People not understanding the democratic concepts of this western democratic parliament at all, as we were not and have not been taught this in state schools, and I am old.

        Joanne Welch will not join my campaign to Labour, as rightly the focus of BackTo60 is the coming court case for full compensation of all of our state pension back to 60.

        I share any information / updates of BackTo60 as obviously that court case will be of interest to this 1954 born lady as all others. Why should us ladies not ask for our money back, as well as fight for pension 60 for men and women equally for future people.

        Will you endorse my GREY SWANS state pension pensioner party please? Thank you.
        It would be a means to put pressure on all parties, but especially Labour.

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      • Christine – is there an upcoming court case?

        If so, it will be interest to see how sub judice applies to any parliamentary debates on the matter.

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  8. Discrimination 😈I was born in 1955 I have paid my full stamp for old age am now 62 but I will have to wait another 4yrs why???I have paid my stamp 44yrs already

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  9. I have worked all my adult life and pay all taxes and contributions. How dare these conservative governments change these dates without prior consultations. And by six years!! This was an illegal act!!! Give us what we are owed. We are not asking for any favours.

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  10. I too born in ’56 paid up NI of 44 years, also gave the country 2 sons who work & contribute to this country. Always been independent in supporting myself & family. Recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis and had to stop working. Recently investigated how l could make my money work for me and got scammed losing everything. What do l do now to live in a world where people are stealing or taking our dignity, is there any point at this age in carrying on? So disillusioned with the government who have taken my choices from me to survive the rest of my life, who cares ?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I didn’t really understand why this is so unfair until I became aware that my friend who is 3 years older than me was able to claim her state pension at 60. I will be 3 months away from 66. I enjoy working and don’t particularly want to stop altogether but I am suffering osteoarthritis and the pain at the end of a week’s work is very bad. I spend a lot of spare time resting and can feel low and physically drained.
    The DWP letter recently telling me that I will have paid enough NI contributions – but have to continue to pay them for another 3 years – is pretty annoying.
    We have all lost a lot of money. If this has to be done – and I am not convinced it does – then a much more gradual phasing-in should have happened. Are we post-war babies not supposed to be aware of injustice?
    I have no partner now and some days wonder how I am going to continue working – but I have to financially.
    I realize also I am comparatively lucky, and sympathise completely with people who left school at 16 and have been working ever since with no break even to re-train.
    We need to keep fighting!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Whether or not the increase in women’s pension age is illegal, it is against natural justice, on account of being such a large change and with such little notice.

    Liked by 1 person

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