Today, I joined with a cross-party group of MPs to form the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI). WASPI was established to campaign against the Government’s unfair changes to the State Pension age of women, in particular those born in the 1950s.
In the mid-1990s the then Conservative Government introduced legislation to make bring the State Pension Age of women come into line with men. However, many women were not notified of the increase in their state pension age until very recently, leaving them with very little time to prepare for the change in the law.
There has been a long running campaign within parliament to introduce transitional arrangements to help women prepare for the increase in their state pension retirement age. Recently a vote took place on a motion to implement these arrangements and the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly for these new measures, with 158 MPs voting aye compared to 0 against the motion.
This new APPG will continue to press the Government to introduce measures to help people impacted by these changes. As this is a cross-party group it will bring together members from a large number of political parties and therefore make the Government sit up and take note.
I have been inundated with correspondents from women and their relatives who are being hurt by these pension changes. Whilst I do not disagree that the state pension as must increase as we all live longer, it is blatantly unfair to give women hardly any notice of the change in the law.
The new APPG will be fighting for transitional arrangements to be put in place. Only then will we have a fair pensions system. One that does not negatively hurt one group just for being born in the 1950s and being female.
This will be an excellent way for us to bring about pressure, and hopefully change, to the state pension system. I am delighted to become a founding member of the APPG for WASPI.