Labour pledges to compensate WASPI women

Labour has pledged to compensate the WASPI women, who have lost out due to the way equalisation of the state pension age was introduced.

Pensions

 

Labour has pledged to pay compensation to the WASPI women, women born in the 1950s affected by the Government’s decision to raise the retirement age from 60 for women to 65.

Labour says it will pay out up to £31,000 per woman with an average payment of £15,000 within its first full five-year term of government.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the pay-outs were a “historic debt of honour” to the women.

The law that increased the women’s state pension age to 65 – the same as men – was introduced in 2011 and affects 3.7m women. It will rise to 66 in October 2020. Many women say there were not properly informed about the change and have been badly financially affected by it.

The High Court ruled against the women in October. The judges ruled that the change was not discriminatory on the grounds of sex. “There was no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, because this legislation does not treat women less favourably than men in law,” Lord Justice Irwin and Mrs Justice Whipple said in a statement. “Rather it equalises a historic asymmetry between men and women and thereby corrects historic direct discrimination against men.”

Jeremy Corbyn said: “The next Labour government will compensate women who were unfairly hit by the rise in the state pension age and give them the respect they deserve. The powerful and wealthy want you to believe that real change is impossible, that it’s not realistic. But it is possible with Labour. Because Labour is not on the side of the billionaires and the bankers, we are on the side of the people.”

The move has proven controversial given that it is estimated that compensation would cost £58bn, money which is not costed in Labour’s manifesto.

 



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