The All Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s State Pension Inequalities is to be revived and will try and persuade the Tory government to make a offer to the 50swomen.
Tim Loughton, Conservative MP for Worthing East and Shoreham, used his response to the Queen’s Speech, to say both he and Carolyn Harris, Labour MP for Swansea, East will approach ministers again to try and get some money. Mr Loughton was returned with an increased majority while Carolyn Harris saw her majority severely reduced.
If the deal is anything like the last one it is likely to cost some £2 billion and probably only cover a small portion of the women who may get £73 a week. Before the election Mr Loughton said as a condition BackTo60 would have to drop its legal action against the Department of Work and Pensions, according to the Daily Express.
He used his latest speech to attack Labour for offering to spend £58 billion over five years to remedy the situation describing it as having ” disgracefully raised false hopes in vulnerable women. “
This is the full extract of his speech on the issue:
“It is an issue that featured rather disgracefully during the election campaign, and it is that of the so-called WASPI women.
Many on this side and, of course, on the other side have championed the case of the 1950s pension women who were hit disproportionately by those changes in the pension age under previous Governments. Many of us have been lobbying the Government to acknowledge that disproportionate disadvantage and to do something about it.
I will call on the Government again and, working with my co-chair of the all-party group on state pension inequality for women, we will continue to put pressure on the Government to acknowledge that and do something about it.
The Labour Opposition’s uncosted promise of £58 billion, which did not appear in their manifesto, disgracefully raised false hopes in vulnerable women.
That amount was almost half the NHS budget, and it was never going to happen. I do hope that we can come up with a realistic, deliverable, doable offer for those women who have suffered and are suffering disproportionately, because that is the right thing to do. “
His speech cut no ice with BackTo60. They are to continue pressing ahead with their application for an appeal in the New Year to get full restitution for the women with the support of the trade unions.
Unison, the largest public service union, are donating £700 to the cause on top of the £80,000 already raised.
Meanwhile I expect some more lobbying from Connect Public Affairs and Waspi to press for a reduced deal. Below is an example sent to me of an earlier lobbying campaign captured in Portcullis House in the House of Commons.