Responding to yesterday’s Labour Party’s announcement that it will pledge £58 billion to women who were denied their State Pension, Solent Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is pleased to see a commitment from Labour to address the “financial injustice” faced by 3.8 million 1950s born women who did not receive fair notice of changes to their State Pension age.
Around 10,500 Isle of Wight women are affected.
Simmons: First tangible offer from any party
Solent WASPI Coordinator, Shelagh Simmons, commented:
“This is the first tangible offer from any party and WASPI warmly welcomes it. We await the detail with interest and urge the Party to develop a clear framework which outlines how and when this would be implemented.
“WASPI looks forward to engaging with Labour to design this system of compensation and ensure that we achieve the best and fairest outcome for all 1950s born women at the earliest opportunity.”
WASPI has been working with all political parties for four years to raise awareness of this issue. Women affected by these changes are suffering now and a solution must be imminent.
Positive response from candidates
During the General Election campaign, Solent WASPI is asking local candidates from all parties to pledge their support. We have been delighted with the positive response from those on the Island, including Labour’s Richard Quigley (pictured above) and Independent Karl Love.
Councillor Love – an established supporter of our campaign – said,
“I have been in contact with women on the Island earlier this year and also more recently. I support an all-party review helping to bridge the gap by finding a workable solution.”
The past week has seen most political parties launch manifestos which include commitments to WASPI women.
Support from Green Party
The Green Party promised we would be the “first two tranche” of people to receive the Party’s proposed Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Deputy Party Leader Amelia Womack said this would be “our way of repaying their lifetime of contributions to society and repairing the injustice caused by the pension age changes”.
During a visit to the Island, Green Party member of the House of Lords, Jenny Jones, and local candidate, Vix Lowthion, met with WASPI members Di Hollander and Rebecca Hardie to discuss the issue and offer their support.
Support from Seely, despite Tory Manifesto plans
It is disappointing that the Conservative Party manifesto does not include any proposals that would give hope to 1950s women. Despite that, we know we have support within the party.
During the last Parliament the Isle of Wight’s Bob Seely was among those who spoke in parliamentary debates. He raised the issue of the Island’s WASPI women on several occasions and we are very grateful for that.
Shelagh Simmons concluded:
“When campaigning for the party leadership, Boris Johnson promised to bring “fresh vigour” and “new eyes” to the WASPI issue. But speaking on BBC’s Question Time last Friday, he refused to offer anything except sympathy to the 8% of the electorate affected by this injustice.
“That is a matter of deep regret, but our campaign is strong, and we are not going away.
“The forthcoming General Election gives us an opportunity to engage with all our candidates and we have been hugely encouraged by the response received so far.”
News shared by Shelagh on behalf of Solent WASPI. Ed