WASPI calls King’s Speech ‘a missed opportunity’

The WASPI campaign has called the King’s Speech a missed opportunity to compensate women affected by the equalisation of the state pension age.


Labour has ‘missed an opportunity’ by failing to include compensation for the Waspi women in the King’s Speech, the campaign said today.

Angela Madden, Chair of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), said: “Hundreds of MPs support WASPI’s calls for fair and fast compensation, yet the new Government has today missed an opportunity to deliver the justice that millions of 1950s-born women deserve.

In reference to legislation known as the Hillsborough Law which was included in the Speech, she added: “While we welcome the new legal duty of candour  which will ensure Government departments hold their hands up when things go wrong, swift action to correct the disastrous mistakes of previous administrations was missing today.

“WASPI will continue to work cross-party to see financial redress proposals brought forward within the first 100 days of the new Parliament.”

Although compensation for the WASPI women was included in the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto, the Labour Party manifesto was silent on it, despite support from Labour MPs including Rebecca Long Bailey.

Compensation for WASPI women

In May the Work and Pensions Committee called on the Government to bring proposals forward to provide compensation for the WASPI women – women born in the 1950s who have suffered injustice due to maladministration on the part of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in relation to its failure to communicate the decision to raise the State Pension age, equalising it for men and women.  Many women say they were not informed about the decision, meaning they could not plan ahead and many have been left in terrible financial circumstances as a result. The WASPI campaign says nearly 300,000 women affected have died since 2015 when the campaign was founded.

In a report published in March, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) asked Parliament to identify how to provide an appropriate remedy for the women. At the May meeting Sir Stephen Timms, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, said: “The debate over the impact of the DWP’s failure to communicate increases in the women’s State Pension age has dragged on for too long and it is time the Government took action to resolve the issue. There is no perfect solution, but there would seem to be broad support for a rules-based system of compensation with a degree of flexibility for cases where women have experienced direct financial loss. While the Ombudsman has put the matter in the hands of Parliament, a remedy can only happen with the support of the Government and we hope Ministers will move quickly to bring forward its proposal before the summer.”

Skills England

The King’s Speech also saw the announcement of the Skills England Bill.

The aim of the body will be to “bring together businesses, providers, unions, mayoral combined authorities (MCAs) and national government to ensure we have the highly trained workforce that England needs”, according to a Government  briefing document.

Catherine Foot, Director of Phoenix Insights, said the body, reform of the Apprenticeship Levy and devolution of more power to local authorities would help to tackle economic inactivity and support older workers to stay in or find new work. She said: “We welcome today’s announcement to create Skills England, reform the Apprenticeship Levy and devolve more powers to local leaders. Local areas are often better placed to transform local labour markets by joining up support for caring, health, employment, skills and careers advice and break down the barriers that many people over the age of 50 face when attempting to access work.“

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises