On Scarlet Standard: How the 50s born women could swing marginal seats in 2019 election

BackTo60 outside the Royal Courts of Justice after the judicial review.

My first article for Scarlet Standard – a new on line magazine for the Labour movement – highlights the plight of 3.8 million women born in the 1950s who are now waiting up to six years to get their pension.

Read it in full here. The gist is the present Tory government don’t plan to do anything about it – but the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have got to up their game to get their vote. And there is everything to play for. And the women have the power to decide who could be elected.

57 thoughts on “On Scarlet Standard: How the 50s born women could swing marginal seats in 2019 election

  1. Yes we have the power David but who do we believe will be the best option because all political parties say they will do this that and the other at Election time and then get into power and do nothing. I dont think any of them will help us. at the end of the day they will promise anything just to get into no 10. I dont want to waste my vote so I am going to use it wisely research and think about it. I am not going to be taken for a fool with all the false promises and they will be plenty.

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    • Like you I took time out to have my children though I returned to work when they were 6weeks old I worked from 16 to 60 looked after a parent with dementure to be told sorry I ant have my pension till I reach 66 I paid in all my working life and now I feel robbed and cheated but I don’t expect anything will change despite an election Mags

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  2. This point needs broadcasting to all parties. We 50’s women will all stick together and support the politicians who actively support our cause.
    I will certainly not vote as ‘normal’ if I don’t get assurances.

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  3. Yes we should use our votes wisely but having been let down by false hope’s before can we now believe what may be promised to us 1950’s women because of the upcoming General Election will what politicians say be true and be beneficial to our plight!!!!!!!We are women who are desperate for resolution right NOW-its gone on for too long-the mental and physical hardship this has caused because of broken promises and expectations of receiving a pension at 60 not 6 years later to 66 yrs old-now struggling every day to keep a roof over one’s head,food in the cupboard and to keep warm having used what savings one had to enjoy life in retirement when reaching pension age after working all one’s life and the knowing the day would come on my 60th Birthday-the shock of finding out was not to be-to be told another extra couple of years and then changed to 6 years on to receive a pension depending on what record of N.I.one has accumulated plus the unknown if one can inherit my husbands N.I. Stamps now I’m a widow ….nothing is certain anymore the not knowing is so stressful and the cause of anxiety and depression to all 50’s women…so unfair when government can produce millions of pounds for outside help yet cannot look after their own-charity begins at home so to speak but then we are not asking for charity only for what we are owed and were promised would happen once we turned 60!!!!!! Its outrageous putting a cost on womens lives many unable to face such stress and are not here with us anymore because of the govt action to deprive our pension-Yes is OUR PENSION-wish we all could turn out together the day of the general election be there-show our strength in numbers unite as one against this government whoever wins…….but cost comes into getting there ……..hard when you just about manage from one week to the next…….cannot make any plans…..just go from day to day……and find strength to carry on-we women have not been given any hopes of getting back what every single one of us are owed.We are not a debt in society we have worked hard and are proud to fight on…….and we will until something is done for us !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree,all politicians lie,my husband turned 65 in July and he has to wait till May 2020,have used my inheritance to pay bills etc,worked hard since 18,no family,had major surgery in 2012,cared for my father and now a carer for my mother in law,like you I cannot make any plans,have to wait till 2025 for my pension,it is time all politicians took a reality check and see how hard it is to survive from day to day,my mp would not support our early day motion TORY! will just have to keep on fighting.Who do I vote for?

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  4. I really hope we can swing it David.. But how to get reparation?? Loved the Bevan quote. It does not make fiscal sense in any way to keep the majority poor and downright criminal what they have done to us all and the generations coming after us. Good article as always. Thankyou.

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  5. This is a situation of obscenity and I only hope that Johnson et al lose the election.I am affected indirectly by the fact that my wife has been robbed of her pension by these faceless bureaucrats.Backto60 have my full support and the Tories do NOT have my vote! Jake Thomas

    On Wed, 6 Nov 2019, 13:12 Westminster Confidential, wrote:

    > davidhencke posted: ” BackTo60 outside the Royal Courts of Justice after > the judicial review. My first article for Scarlet Standard – a new on line > magazine for the Labour movement – highlights the plight of 3.8 million > women born in the 1950s who are now waiting up to si” >

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  6. If only we had proportional representation, where I live is a Tory stronghold. Even so if enough of the 50s women live in a certain area this could work. I hope that all parties give careful thought to this issue. I recently read that Labour have “big news” for 50s women about mid November! I wait with anticipation. …

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  7. Thanks for this timely reminder David. There are 182 constituencies where the estimated number of women born in the 1950s is greater than the current MP’s majority.
    • 117 English constituencies
    • 51 Scottish constituencies
    • 14 Welsh constituencies
    Our votes can make a crucial difference.

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  8. Thank you for covering this topic. I’d like to point out, though, that not every single one of those 3.8 million women have been apolitical or traditional Tory voters until recently, as per your statement in the second paragraph, nor were we all surprised that a Conservative government would refuse to help us, as you also assert further down. I’d be surprised if even a traditional Tory voter would be so naive!

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    • Personally, I think all us women should deprive all the politicians 3 and half million votes,Unless one party signs,promises our money. I for one will be using this as my protest.

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  9. I wouldn’t trust any of the parties. They might promise but once they get in do the dirty on us again like they did to the students.

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    • We have to trust someone, we thought we had done right by expecting the Judges to make the right decision but were badly let down. I really hope the rumours that something from the Courts is imminent, we have been made to wait long enough,

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  10. My thoughts exactly. If either party promise and put in place for me to get my pension now, I would give my vote to them! Hardship suffering would end and I could enjoy my retirement
    🤔🤔🤔🤔

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  11. I like that you’re pursuing this, however not totally with your analysis. I’m a life long socialist and humanist, and would NEVER expect the Tories to support those in need, in whatever category – so many rights for so many groups have gone under the last administration. So no, we’re not all Tory supporters who woke up one morning in surprise. I don’t know whether this is a narrative created to try to appeal to those who do fit into this category, however, please don’t patronise us, I know you’re on our side. Other than that, yes, get the wake up calls in, the potential of this group. I am desperately hoping that Labour come up with something more than Pension Credit, which is a benefit, and not a right, whereas our Pensions are a right, and not a benefit. Thank you David for your work on this.

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  12. Hi. I am a fifties born woman who has lived in Spain for nearly sixteen years. I didnt think I was eligible to vote in the general election.
    I do have to agree though that after what happened with the Lib Dems going in with the Tories the time before last, I dont know if I trust them.
    Cant stand Boris. Such a liar and after all the lies on the bus!!!!! No one ever mentions that though. The lies just drip off his tongue, even now.
    I must admit that me or my family has never voted Tory.
    And as for that Jane Moore on Loose Women saying that people who live in Spain shouldnt have the Heating Allowance! I’d like to see her try to live in the mountains in Spain!!! We spend over 300 euros a year on logs and 1,500 euros a year on heating oil! This should not be a generalisation for the whole of Spain! There are some cold parts! We dont all live on the beach sunning ourselves every day in our shorts! We have hardly any savings left!!!
    Sorry, going off topic there. Backto60 is a fabulous thing. Thank you.

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  13. I am not voting they stole our pension money none of them can be trusted and I am not waiting in the cold to get a bus there and back

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  14. What has not been taken into account, it is not just us ladies that have been affected, it means we are unable to support our children, husbands and extended families. Most of whom are also voters. I wonder if the Election campaigners are taking all these additional voters into account.
    It’s a lot of voters to win or lose. I for one am campaigning for my family and friends to support the party that commits to helping us ladies, I am 65 and hopefully will receive my pension a month before my 66th birthday…better than some of you girls out there!

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  15. Dear David Hencke,
    Grey Swans is the only specific campaign group into Labour pension policy, being as only Jeremy Corbyn’s brand of Labour in government delivered on the state pension re terms and money value. Grey Swans is not inside the Labour party, and ignored just like the rest of pension campaign groups are ignored by all parties.

    Labour should learn the lesson of history from the last December election in 1923, after which Labour got first Labour government. Labour lasted a year, 1924, in a hung parliament and then lost back to the Tories in 1925 election, because the Tories promised and immediately delivered a massive lowered pension age from original 70 to 65 for both men and women.

    Neither the Tories nor Lib Dems can lower pension age because of the pending appeal case (from the pension changes they did in coalition, and by Tories enacting 1995 pension act).

    It is after next year, that all pension age rise victims (1960s born onwards) are only victims of (New) Labour (2007 pension act), that was only accelerated faster by Tory / Lib Dem 2014 pension act. 1960s born start turning 60 next year.

    Jeremy Corbyn throughout his political career kept saying in parliament, pension age 60 men and women the same and a proper living state pension. Yet despite being Labour Leader since 2015, none of his pension policies ever made it into Labour’s manifesto. This lost Labour the 2017 election, with a Pensioner Pledge Card that just enraged pensioners, not gain the Grey Vote.

    Most Tory marginals are in small towns, and the majority of voters in small towns are Grey Vote (begins from age 50, not only pensioners).

    It is an urban myth that the Grey Vote only vote Tory. Parliament informs there is no formal data gathering of what age votes for what party. Polls are merely political chicanery.

    Grey Swans is for all men and all women from age 50 to 100 plus. And inclusive of Windrush Generation (deported or not), Gurkhas (UK resident or not), and frozen pensioners worldwide. And bettered state pension would help miners widows on inherited pension, the miners tell me, down as low as £7.30 per week.

    Grey Swans demands were popular amongst the 1950s ladies at the 5th November last pension static demo by parliament. Grey Swans demands Labour immediately pay 1950s men and women, who are not yet retired and between ages 60 and 66, full weekly state pension, granting full pensioner status, when win 12 December election. Not back-dated obviously, as that is the court case. Just because you are retired, doesn’t mean you are not still in the compensation court claim. First Payment obviously 31st January 2020 (month’s worth of state pension money).

    The 1960s born then would get weekly state pension at 60 for men and women, starting in 2020, which is when they start turning 60.

    Will you endorse Grey Swans, Mr Hencke, by the privilege of informing about Grey Swans, if I write you up something, and you put your professional journalist polish upon it, please? Thanks.

    Andrew Gwynne (national election co-ordinator for Labour) said to me in person, at 5 November demo, that Labour policy would be discussed in a fortnight’s time, from which the manifesto would be decided. Now is the last time maybe for half a decade that politicians will listen, til next general election.

    Help me to help us all.

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  16. Don’t dare blackmail me to vote parties that may use our cause to get them elected. I’ve yet to see anything in their manifestos. It’s absolutely scandalous and bad enough being robbed of our pensions, let alone using the situation as a cheap election stunt. I look forward to a sensible appeal process, not fake information.

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  17. I am not a politicly minded person, but like most people here I am angered by the deceit of the government and local politician’s regarding our stolen pensions. For me the dates for retirement were changed twice, with no letter I might add. I continue to work, though my body feels broken, and my mind is all over the place as I know I can’t continue working for much longer. I, like most of the 60’s women have done my bit, more than 45 years of NI payments, raised family ect,. 3.8 million women are suffering and I’m sure come this election all parties will be looking for our vote. I just wonder what the effect would be if 3.8 million women withheld their vote! Would it make a difference?

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  18. No we certainly do not want to withhold our vote i would feel ashamed if i didn’t vote and the Tories got back in. With them we have no chance not even sure Lib Dems would even do anything to help us. I will put my faith in SNP or Labour at least they seem to have a sense of fairness and justice for all. I am now 60 yrs old and have been working since i was 16 in factories and for the last 30yrs in childcare. I have had three children four miscarriages and two back operations. My back is now riddled with athritis as a result of the back operations. I am working with 3 and 4 yr olds and bam now expected to be outside all day for a full week on a two week rota not great when you live in the west coast of Scotland where we suffer from lots of wind and rain. When I was 16 i had a contract to get my state pension at age60 not 66. No other government would totally disrespect their woman the way the tories and Lib Dems have done to us. It was their doing lets vote for anybody else and give them a chance to rectify this.

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  19. Having written to the PM in part about my plight at the loss of my pension but only receiving an acknowledgement ‘Thank you’ letter in return, I still have no idea if 1) the PM saw it & read it, 2) Whether he gives two hoots about our pension plight or 3) Is he so arrogant that he truly believes he can survive without our votes?? Brexit comes in 2nd place to my State Pension, even above the NHS etc. I am fully aware of how important those things are to society but I am not responsible for the Governments mismanagement of money or for increasing our population 3 fold with immigration. No wonder our Country is in such a mess. The truth is, if the Government cannot help the very people who have been born & bred here & who have paid their dues to society then why should any of those people vote for a corrupt Government not willing to accept that 50’s women deserve every penny that is owed them just as much as the NHS needs help. to keep it afloat. Ironically having turned 62 I now have health problems & I know I should no longer work, but I have no choice. I am still ‘HAVING’ to work whether I want to or not, because I’m not allowed any benefits. I don’t fit Government criteria. So I’ve no money to speak of, have debts to pay & am having to sell my home after 34 years of living in it….Non of this is acceptable in my eyes!

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  20. Had an interesting chat with a LibDem canvasser on my doorstep yesterday. She knew nothing about the pension issue – their focus is the NHS and mental health and abolishing Brexit. I’m afraid we are very low on any list of priorities.

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    • I was under the impression Jo Swinson was promising every penny back to us if elected, don’t they talk to their members about their promises.

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      • they are all fakes Naylor 1954 with fake promises and short memories the lot of them. Going to tear my voting card up I think.

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      • I have to vote women fought hard for our vote and I can’t let them down, but will choosing who I vote for very carefully.

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  21. We are really in the last chance saloon. Politicians and civil servants know that if we are not repaid our stolen money after this election, we will continue to die off and very, very soon politically speaking, the problem will solve itself and they will keep what was our money. Don’t be shy to vote for those supporting rapid full restitution. The other despicable psychopathics liars and thieves really don’t care about you and just want us all to die (go away) as soon as possible.

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  22. I honestly have no faith in any of these political parties but dont want to waste my vote. They speak about equality but what about women earning less money than men doing the same work. Women generally have to take time off work to produce the next generation and usually have to be carers for elderly family members. To have worked all my life and then be told that i have to wait until i am 66 before receiving my hard earned pension has destroyed me. I havent had a holiday in years, everything costs more than it did and my salary is not going up to meet normal needs. I think the government is hoping we will all have topped ourselves so they can keep our pensions. Its a total disgrace as i received no notification regarding this and i know i am not alone in saying this.

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  23. I have to be frank – I will have to vote for the political party I believe will be best for the UK as a whole, not simply myself as a 1953 born woman. There are many other issues to consider, from Brexit to the NHS etc. All MP’s are economical with the truth and promises in advance of an election are meaningless. And promised actions after a win are like Rutger Hauer’s ‘Tears in Rain.”

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  24. I want it put into black and white that we will all get back our pension before I vote because as we all know they all have broken promises

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  25. Hi im 63 cant find work.. Its heartbreaking.. I hope there will be ⚖ justice soon… We want what is rightly ours simply we want our money! Can u ladies help me to whom i should vote ❎ for. Thank you. Melanie.

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    • Whatever you decide – you need to vote. I would Ignore the tabloids and any right wing broadsheets, read the guardian, the Independent and even The Mirror and think of the many and not the few or under the current government, we’ll end up with some awful ‘ Dog eat dog’ Mad Max existence where it’s every man for himself…vote tactically so we can see great positive changes to this country

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  26. And for those of the 3.8 million who lived and worked overseas and were NEVER TOLD ABOUT the changes because of the bureaucratic errors and ineptitude which apparently is completely acceptable to the justice system and not the responsibility of the government we can make sure we are properly enrolled to vote in December and use our votes like never before. I really don’t care what else an MP or party stands for – I will use my vote to support the ones who commit to giving me back what was stolen and is rightfully mine. This may or may not make a difference but it’s all I’ve got left and my parents fought for my fight to do so. Another rip off.

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  27. I already know who I’m voting for. It’s a no brainer for me. It’s not just about pensions but also the NHS and the prospect of a return to a great class divide. I hope Labour can see clearly, the strength of feeling of these 3.8 million women with the immense support of their partners and grown up children behind them.

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  28. Great to see BackTo60 appealing the judicial review and so interesting to think that we ’50s girls could swing the result of the upcoming election in marginal seats. That is real girl power and I am with you all the way!!

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  29. Ah, just thought of the answer to this conundrum, which does not involve relying on the hollow promises of our politicians, or anyone else for that matter . . . stay fit and healthy and live for as long as you can – make the bureaucrats pay until you are 100+. . . simple!!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. NOW is the time to face the facts and tell the truths which are:

    At least 3.8 million women were NOT properly informed that the pensions they were contracted to receive would not be forthcoming in accordance with that contract. (The debate is NOT about whether we are “entitled” to the pension or not – it is that we were not told); and

    Elected representatives deny this. The Civil “Service” deny this. The Justice system even says that we are not entitled to be informed when our elected representatives make these kinds of changes: bodes ill for the future doesn’t it examples might be “oh we didn’t have to tell you but your income tax has just gone up to 70%'” etc etc?

    The Civil Service refuse to accept any responsibility for proven maladministration, the Independent Case Examiner and Ombudsman refuse to recognise proven injustices and maladministration resulting in hardship to U.K. citizens; and

    Elected Representatives lie, obsfucate, talk nonsense, filibuster, avoid responsibility, anything to avoid doing their job honestly i.e. represent us. Senior Civil Servants vie for “Yes Minister” Oscars as they duck, weave and cleverly say nothing at all for as long as they can to anyone who isn’t listening. They don’t care! Liars all. And:

    These psychotic, sociopathic, mysoginists, predating on our wealth and narcissistically looking after their own interests DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU, your mother, your grandmothers, your aunt, your sister, your friends. All they are about is themselves and keeping their own jobs, perks and pensions (ha!). That includes the females amongst them who are, perhaps, the most shameful of all.

    Make no mistake about this – they want us dead as quickly as possible because their problem will then melt away, they will keep our money and history will be free to repeat. The sooner we go away – the sooner we die – the better it is for these ghastly people – what does that make them?

    So yes, use your votes very strategically and wisely in this case. We do not have to accept these injustices, we have the courage to change it, and the wisdom to know what they are trying to do to us. Don’t let the smokescreens of Brexit, NHS and immigration (we can’t change them they’ve made THAT very clear to us) distract you from your primary purpose which is to’ GET OUR MONEY BACK BEFORE WE DIE.

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  31. David does mean our Appeal has been denied, its not very clear.

    This announcement was made last night by the campaign group which brought the Judicial Review 5/6.6.19 (which was dismissed on 3.10.19). They then sought Permission to Appeal the decision in the High Court. Leave (to appeal) has been refused

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    • No it means they can go straight to court of appeal for permission – and not have to go to the high court again for permission to go to the appeal court. Some misleading info is being put out there that the Supreme Court won’t hear the appeal. But they are not at this stage going to the Supreme Court – they have to go to the court of appeal. Lawyers wouldn’t be recommending an appeal if they did not think they had a good case.

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  32. Thank you David for explaining, my heart sunk to my stomach as I am sure it did for many. I feel sure I won’t be the only member who doesn’t fully understand what is going on and it only takes a false rumour to sour the milk. I think it is so sad that millions of us ladies have been put in such a desperate situation, it is making me ill and sure many others too. Thank you and Backto60 and all our legal team for keeping this going, it is a mammoth task and hopefully justice will prevail.

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    • Hi was just thinking about how it feels like fraud that this Gov…. has robbed us 50’s women of our dignity and our hard earned savings towards enjoying a retirement…….I am 64 and expected my state pension at 60 but have another 2 years until I can claim……at 58 I lost my husband suddenly to a heart attack and I remember going to pick up his Death Certifucate at registratio dept Local council office and was told at the time I would not be able to claim his pension…………..the cruellness of the timing of her words that day will haunt me for ever………..!!I
      I was left alone to face the rest of my life without my rock…… married at 18 brought up a family and claimed nothing throughout the 40years together…….he worked hard all his life…….and I have been told I cannot inherit any of his N.I stamps to make up my shortfall for those years when I was at home bringing up a family!!!!The only hope I have is backing The Back to 60 campaign and Waspi…….and one needs hope to survive from one day to the next……. we women are not asking for what’s not ours-we were promised a pension at 60-yes it feels like Fraud-robbed of our retirement pots-Govt should be brought to justice-I would do anything to be one of those women out there in London fighting for us Women but it’s all down to money the cost to travel getting there there etc as every penny counts when up against struggle to keep a roof over my head,food on the table and just keep warm……..as each one of us 3.8 million women I am sure feel the same-to me feels we have been robbed…….its fraud-our retirement fund our planned future gone in these 6 years we are having to struggle and pay once again to live for what was promised as rightfully ours at 60 !!

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  33. I 100% agree Ann, I am 65 and started work Full Time at 16 and Part Time for a couple of years when my babies were born, then back to Full Time again. Our Daughter passed away aged 15 with Meningitis in 1991 there was no help funding a child’s funeral in our day, just as we got no help with funding child care and very little Maternity pay. I have 48 years of Full Contributions and without any warning my Pension age was moved to next May when I will be 8 weeks from being 66. Like you my Husband passed away just 8 weeks after his 60th Birthday from a heart attack (we were married for 40 years} so never received a penny State Pension, I did receive 12 months Widows Pension but they stopped my ESA as I am now unable to work through illness, then my ESA was reinstated once the Widows Pension stopped. I have not so long ago been told I am entitled to £19.00 a week of my Husband’s State Pension, but not until I start to receive my own Pension, it makes me sick. It is fraud, we did pay our contributions with the promise of a State Pension at 60 so where is our money? I know, lining the pockets of the rich many of whom are avoiding tax and getting away with it. I am disgusted with the whole business, the two Judges who ruled against us, the smugness of the DWP (Opperman) when the ruling was made, when Justice Laing totally got it, where is the justice in that? I hate this Government and I am losing faith in the rest of the parties as their promised important announcements about our plight are a long time in coming, I pray each night for each and every one of us that justice will prevail, but sadly it is already too late for some and probably will be for others before we do get justice.

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