Call for urgent changes for WASPI women affected by Covid-19 pandemic

The WASPI Campaign Director says they’re increasingly concerned about the disproportionate impact the outbreak is having on 1950s born women

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) Campaign is calling on the Government to take urgent action to help WASPI women who have been badly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 and are experiencing greater financial hardship as a result.

Two urgent changes
WASPI is calling on the Government to make two urgent changes. The first is to give early access to Pension Credit for WASPI women who are otherwise eligible.

This group, including some of the poorest WASPI women living in the UK, are currently falling through the gaps as their income is low, but they cannot access other support like Universal Credit.

Early access to the State Pension
The second is early access to the State Pension for WASPI women due to reach State Pension age this financial year.

This would mean that the Government would not have to support these women through other measures like furlough payments or benefits.

Lord: Poverty for women who were struggling before pandemic
Announcing the Call to Action, WASPI Campaign Director, Chrissie Lord, said:

“Every day, we hear heart-breaking stories from our members about how the current situation is affecting them. We’re increasingly concerned about the disproportionate impact the outbreak is having on 1950s born women.

“Like others, many WASPI women are seeing a significant impact on their livelihoods as a result of income uncertainty and difficulties accessing affordable food and other essentials. For women who were already in serious financial difficulty as a result of mismanagement of changes to the State Pension age, the impact is huge.

“This all adds up to reports of poverty amongst WASPI women who were struggling to make ends meet before the Coronavirus pandemic. Those who are hardest hit have been unable to retire as planned and are now unable to work.”

Exceptional circumstances require urgent action
Chrissie went on to say,

“We have always campaigned for fair transitional arrangements for all women affected by the WASPI issue, and we will continue to work towards this aim. However, in these exceptional circumstances we have taken the decision to campaign urgently for vital support specifically for those who have been impacted the most severely.

“WASPI women have fallen through the cracks too many times before. It is time for the Government to act to ensure that WASPI women who are struggling to make ends meet are protected and supported.”

Simmons: Hope MPs recognise urgency of situation
Solent WASPI Coordinator, Shelagh Simmons, added:

“At this unprecedented time of national emergency, we are writing to every MP in our area seeking their support for these proposals.

“We very much hope they will recognise the urgency of the situation for WASPI women in their constituency and will respond positively to this Call for Action we are making on their behalf.”

Further information about WASPI can be found at on the Website or on the WASPI Facebook page and Twitter.

The letter
The letter sent to MPs can be found below – click on full screen icon to see larger version.


News shared by Shelagh on behalf of Solent WASPI. Ed

Friday, 24th April, 2020 5:46pm

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32 Comments on "Call for urgent changes for WASPI women affected by Covid-19 pandemic"

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Mark L Francis

I am 61 and I can’t get a pension either. However if there is free money in it, you can call me “Mary” & I will wear a wig (& shave).

JossS
This must NOT happen because it will set precedents that are unfair to other Waspi women and any gender experiencing hardship at this time. If any of these women as part of your example given have £5,000 in savings then they are very fortunate as they have back-up already. Food is more expensive for us all but bargains are still there to be had and if they… Read more »
emma74

Back to 60 is a completely different campaign and is nothing to do with WASPI.

JossS

What a load of rubbish! Yes two different campaigns but both representing women born in the 1950s and affected by state pension age equalisation.

emma74
I would never be so rude as to dismiss what someone else says as “a load of rubbish” but let me just say this. Back To 60 is demanding full restitution of 1950s women’s state pensions back to age 60 and are pursuing that through the courts. WASPI is seeking compensation for the mismanagement of 1950s women’s state pensions by the DWP. They are pursuing that via… Read more »
JossS
Both campaigns present a significant bill to the taxpayer i.e. Waspi circa £58 billion and Backto60 circa £181 billion. Surely it’s not right to subject younger people who finance state pensions through their jobs to draconian taxes; that is indeed a moral issue. Waspi also claims to speak for 3.8m women yet only appear to represent a very small fraction of these women with circa 111,000 followers… Read more »
ontheleft

Tedious and sexist. Anyone approaching retirement, both men and women, have had their retirement age put back. All the Government covid-19 help schemes apply to both men and women, as they should, and then there’s the safety net of universal credit.

ian123

WASPI are becoming very tiresome and display an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

If there is any group disproportionately affected by the virus, it appears to be middle aged (and especially ethnic minority) men.

Rockhopper

Ontheleft and ian123 – are either of you in receipt of State Pension, or within a year or 2 years of being due?

emma74

This is about emergency help for those WASPI women who have lost their income due to the Covid-19 crisis and fall between the cracks of all current Government help schemes. As for “an unhealthy sense of entitlement”, the gender pension gap is huge:

https://twitter.com/WomensBudgetGrp/status/1252910339370504192?s=20

JossS

What complete rubbish £164,700 pension for men if only, maybe for the privileged few. Get real!

Spartacus

The only people who get this are CEO’s and the ruling class. Thanks for the share Joss S.

emma74

As the article clearly states, that is the average. Of course not everyone gets that, but it’s an indication of the size of the gender pension gap.

JossS

Rubbish!

emma74

I would never be so rude as to dismiss what someone else says as “rubbish”. Perhaps you could supply some evidence to back up your comment.

JossS
The link you purport to base your “huge gender pension gap” on doesn’t provide any supporting data source and is representative of presumably an occupational pension pot, although even that assumption has to be guesswork therefore it is meaningless data with numerous variations if you search online. State pension and occupational pensions schemes are two completely different ‘ballgames’ and you are muddying the waters by trying to… Read more »
emma74

Whichever data sources you use, the conclusion is the same – there is a huge gender pension gap. And the large disparity between men’s and women’s pensions means far more women than men are dependent on their State Pension as all, or part, of their retirement income.

henry

People are living much longer now, particularly women. When the pension age of 65 was established life expectancy was 3 score years and 10.

Some one has to pay for State Pensions, it is inevitable that the age of entitlement is going to increase, so just live with it and stop whinging.

emma74

I’m afraid you either haven’t read the article or you have misunderstood it. It is not about equalisation of the state pension age, or increases to it. It is about emergency help for WASPI women who have lost their income due to the Covid-19 crisis and fall between the cracks of all the current Government schemes.

JossS

It’s all about equalisation or there wouldn’t be ‘Waspi’s.

emma74

It’s about the process, not the principle.

JossS

Waspi and Backto60 are both campaigning to have compensation paid to 3.8 million women born in the 1950s same principle to me.

emma74

Then I suggest you read up on the campaigns, or see my other reply to you.

JossS

“I would never be so rude” as not to read your input hence my replies.

ontheleft

As I’ve said before in response to previous articles like this one I was born in the 1950s and my pension has been put back. I’m aware of it and I accept it as just one of those things.

emma74

I’m afraid you either haven’t read the article or you have misunderstood it. It is not about equalisation of the state pension age, or increases to it. It is about emergency help for WASPI women who have lost their income due to the Covid-19 crisis and fall between the cracks of all the current Government schemes.

JossS

Are you also going to campaign for men in the same category; you can’t just stick a ‘Waspi’ label on their heads to get money it has to be fair to ALL!

emma74

It’s not a ‘label’, it’s a reality. The WASPI generation of women has faced discrimination all their lives in pay and pensions.

JossS

Absolute codswallop! What a statement to make about 3.8m women are you really saying they were all downtrodden and couldn’t speak up for themselves in the work environment; not all employers are bad. I know a lot of women who fit into the Waspi category who have run businesses, held good jobs with good benefits and who have taken responsibility to plan for their retirement.

emma74

I would never be so rude as to dismiss what someone else says as “absolute codswallop”. I am pleased you know 1950s-born women who have overcome the odds and done well for themselves. I know many who have not and the excellent video from the Womens’ Budget Group (linked to in a previous comment) explains exactly why that is so.

JossS

As I said in a comment above Waspi only represents a very small fraction of the 3.8 million women. Your comment above suggests you speak for them all which is clearly not the case; they’ve not all be discriminated against.

Spartacus

It needs to be challenged not accepted