Waspi, one of the organisations seeking compensation for women born in the 1950s, has finally broken its silence on the second stage of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s investigation into maladministration at the Department of Work and Pensions.
A statement on its site reads:
“the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has now circulated a provisional draft of its second report, on the emotional and financial impact of that maladministration, to complainants – but has done so on condition of confidentiality.
The report follows the PHSO’s findings last year that “The opportunity that additional notice would have given them [WASPI women] to adjust their retirement plans was lost… Despite having identified there was more it could do, it failed to provide the public with as full information as possible.” The Ombudsman’s office additionally encouraged DWP to be “proactive” in finding a remedy for the women affected.
WASPI is now taking legal advice on the contents of the draft second report and how best to respond to the PHSO before they finalise the report. Subject to that advice, WASPI will respond on behalf of the Campaign, and we state again the following points:
A fuller statement of our position is on our website https://www.waspi.co.uk/…/waspi-statement-to-phsos…/
It remains a political decision by government not to heed the PHSO’s advice to be ‘proactive’ in finding a remedy to this injustice. THANK YOU to everyone who has signed our open letter to the two Conservative leadership candidates on this subject. Please do sign if you haven’t already and ask family and friends to do so too. We aim to reach 20,000 signatures by the end of this week. You can find the link to the letter on the website too.
We will be sure to keep you informed of developments.”
It is good that they are taking legal advice about the report but their lawyers are going to work very hard to refute parts of the report. Issues like everyone knew about the pension change but their members didn’t understand what it meant for them or the fact that the report says maladministration was not responsible for financial losses or bad health of their members. See my blog on what the report says.
Their statement also glosses over that it is only partial maladministration for just 28 months -from 2006 to 2009 – over whole period from 1995 to 2010. Both these issues point to a much lower level of compensation – hence I suppose their campaign to end the process of seeking compensation and just get a quick one off payment. The problem with that is the government knows that the Ombudsman is backing down on seeking compensation for bad health and financial losses. Potential Tory PM’s Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have said they are not interested.
Old canard of claims people wanted the pension age lowered to 60
I am also a bit amazed that the organisation repeats the old canard that they don’t want the pension age reduced to 60. Nobody has wanted that to my knowledge – the nearest was a suggestion of equalising pension ages of men and women to 63. What Backto60 wanted was full restitution for the money lost by the decision -not a reduction in the pension age to 60.
One really wonders what the six people who brought the maladministration complaints think about this -even if they have to keep a vow of silence -which I do not -on the findings. I gather WASPI has not bothered to consult them but gone on its own agenda and gagged them from talking about it. Basically all I can see is a huge group of women being let down by everybody in sight, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Ombudsman and now Waspi hiding behind a veil of secrecy.
In the long run this will be seen as one of the great betrayals. But in the long term there will be a reversal of these attitudes – the UN Convention of the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women will prevail. In the meantime there will be a cracking report soon from the CEDAWinLAW tribunal on this issue – a tribunal that the deputy chair of the UN Convention, came from Geneva to give evidence. The darkest hour is always before the dawn.
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