Taking the 50s women protest to the doors of the Department of Work and Pensions

 

one voice

The protesters outside the DWP under the #One Voice umbrella

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

The campaign for justice for the 50s women denied their pensions has come home to the Department of Work and Pensions.

A group representing all shades of opinion demanding redress for the 3.7 million women who have lost out hired an old London bus to protest outside Parliament, Downing Street and Caxton House, the DWP headquarters to drive the message home.

Under the banner #One Voice it included a number of #Waspi groups from London, Chichester, Bognor Regis to name but a few. On board backing the campaign was the Barnet blogger, Theresa Musgrove, who runs the @brokenbarnet  website.

 

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Waspi supporters from London with a banner – the guy in the background is the DWP’s privatised security guard from G4S who was pretty accommodating given it was a surprise visit

The campaign was supported by lawyer Michael Mansfield who wants to bring a legal case against the DWP  presently represented by Guy Opperham, the pensions minister and MP for Hexham,. who is implacably opposed to giving any concessions to anybody.

He appealed for unity among the campaigners – warning that divide and rule between various factions – would mean they could be picked off by ministers.

The 50s women used a battlebus obtained by Angela Taylor to make as much noise as possible particularly in its thrice trip round Parliament Square, causing both tourists and MPs to turn their heads. No doubt the message would have got back to Japan given the number of pictures taken.

The choice of the bus added to the occasion. It was a London RT model – the workhorse of  London Transport for decades – and built pretty much at the same time as many of the 50s women were born.  Reliable, dependable and capable – it was very much symbolic of the women who have been robbed of their pensions.

Reliable London us

The pensions battle bus with Yvette Greenway  who works in association with #BackTo60 with her trusty loudhailer

Of course the government is still saying it will do nothing. A letter sent to Pauline Hinder by the DWP ministerial correspondence unit ( ministers  like Guy Opperham have better things to do than reply to the general public like watching the Eurovision song contest) says :

” The Government has no plans to revisit the policy on women’s State Pension age and does not intend to make further concessions….

And according to the ministers they are striking a blow for equality.

“Changes to the State Pension age put right a long lasting inequality which was based on an outdated rationale that women were dependent on their husband’s incomes.”

Bizarrely this is exactly what many of the 50s women  were dependent on – the minister is just rewriting history to suit himself.

And mindful that the ministry may soon to be taken to court for not telling people about the change they are on the defensive..

“In the years after the 1995 legislation (1995 to 2011) this equalisation was frequently reported in the media and debated at length in Parliament. People were notified with leaflets, an extensive advertising campaign was carried out, and later individual letters were posted out. Throughout this period the Department has been providing individuals with their most up-to-date State Pension age when they have requested a Pension statement.”

And also you aren’t entitled to a pension  and we can’t afford to pay it anyway. We just take your contributions and do what we like with it.

“The National Insurance scheme operates on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis. It is inaccurate to characterise the State Pension as an individual contract where people get out what they pay in. It is today’s contributors who pay for today’s pensioners.

“There is no surplus in the Fund that can simply be drawn upon. The Government Actuary recommends a surplus is kept in the National Insurance fund to cover day to day variations in spend. The surplus is lent to the Government while that happens – it cannot simply be spent again.”

I have a feeling that ministers may not get away with this if people continue to press them – the Conservative government can’t afford to lose 3.7 million votes when it is neck and neck with Labour.

 

13 thoughts on “Taking the 50s women protest to the doors of the Department of Work and Pensions

  1. women born 1950 retires 60 in 2010 me born 1955 60 in 2015 got 6 extra years
    6 years over 5 year period
    They tell me l got 5 years from 1995 act
    So please can someone tell why did government have to bring 1995 act forward to 2016 2018 if it was already done by 1955 and then the 2007 act by 2020 .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Taking the 50s women protest to the doors of the Department of Work and Pensions | David Hencke – leftwing nobody

  3. The 1950s women and particularly those affected a second time by the appalling 2011 Act, have suffered one of the worst injustices to women this century. Most of these women never had equal pay with men during their careers, never had company pensions or the maternity provision of today. They have given endless support to the community, raised families and cared for elderly parents for free relieving the burden on social services. They have paid their dues and were cheated. So many respond to their outrage by saying that they got equality – but this is not equality. Men were not treated the same with no notice, sudden acceleration of pension age, low wages and men generally are far more financially better off than women of this age. So a gross injustice here and inequality to women. The pensions minister of the time, reported subsequently that there were huge mistakes and emergency help sought from Government but little came from them. George Osborne bragged about what he had saved, yet the Govt triple the amount they say they would have to pay back. This is a national scandal and what happens to them happens in the future to the young of today. This is not just over 3 million women, it is the husbands and partners, their daughters and sons, the friends and the relatives that will be casting their vote eventually. It will break the Govt unless something is done urgently to given these women a pension and reimburse financially the women who are already are desperate and have been drawing down their emergency savings, selling their homes and taking loans to get by. A scandal beyond comprehension and the DWP who made the biggest mistakes of all time. Total incompetence and mismanagement in the way the State Pension age for women was implemented.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The government are lying through their teeth. Born August 1955, I was never informed by any government department about withholding my paid for pension and forcing me into slavery for 6 long gruelling years.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. not all women are waspi’s.
    I a. part of a group 63 is the new 60. might be worth a hard look as this would save money(as this is why they brought in more acceleratedchanges( for the government but also give women their hard earned pension before many are DEAD.

    Why does the government continue to say no women will have to wait any more than 18 months. I have to wait 71 months and 6 days

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These groups DO NOT represent 3.5 million women! If it wasn’t for their ridiculous ask we may have had a resolution by now. Instead they’ve scuppered any hope!

    Like

    • Strange viewpoint given the government say there will NO concessions and they plan to continue to raise the pension age and introduce fresh restrictions on those able to claim pension credit

      Like

      • I agree with what Christine Connell says. If the big campaigns had concentrated on the very unfair 2011 act concessions would have been made.

        Like

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