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.”
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