ALBA call on Starmer to confirm if he still supports Compensation for WASPI Women

ALBA Party have called on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to confirm if his party will pay compensation to WASPI women if they form a Government after the next General election. 

ALBA’s Westminster leader Neale Hanvey MP says that on the back of recent u-turns in regards to opposition to the Bedroom Tax and the Two Child Benefit Cap, it’s now crucial that Starmer clarifies if his party are still committed to paying compensation to women born in the 1950s who have been campaigning against state pension inequality. 

Women affected by the state pension age changes are eagerly awaiting the verdict of an investigation into the failures of the Government’s communication of the policy.

The report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) could recommend an award of compensation for the injustice the women have faced. It remains unclear when the report will be published but those part of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) hope it will be soon.

Last year the Labour Party leader was photographed with WASPI campaigners pledging that he supported the “fair and fast compensation for 1950s women.” 

However, ALBA say that since then Starmer has backtracked on his pledges to scrap the Bedroom Tax and the Two Child Benefit Cap so “ he cannot be taken at his previous word and must now confirm if an incoming Labour Government will be committed to paying compensation to hundreds of women across Scotland and nearly four million across the UK.”

The WASPI campaign has identified some 3.8 million women born in the 1950s who suddenly found they would have to work many more years when the State Pension age was increased to 65 between 2016 and 2018 and then to 66, for both men and women across the UK in October, 2020. WASPI is not against equalisation, however, they do not accept the "unfair way the changes were implemented with inadequate or not notice."

The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman found that 1950s women were victims of maladministration in stage 1 of its investigation but stage 2 which will determine compensation has been delayed. 

ALBA Party’s Neale Hanvey MP has now urged Starmer to commit to accepting the findings when published and committing to pay in full all compensation that the PHSO recommends WASPI women should receive. 

Commenting ALBA Party Westminster leader Neale Hanvey MP said: 

“Keir Starmer’s Labour Party have spent the summer recess selling out their principles and u-turning on key policy commitments. 

“So far they’ve decided to keep the Tory Bedroom Tax and will no longer scrap the immoral and abhorrent Two Child Benefit Cap - a double whammy on the most vulnerable, if they are elected to Government

“Last year Starmer pledged that he supported the fast and fair payment of compensation to WASPI women, but Labour pledges aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. 

“WASPI women have been treated appallingly by successive Governments. They deserve to be compensated properly for the maladministration of the UK Government, and Keir Starmer must today commit that should his Labour Party form the next UK Government they will immediately compensate every affected 1950’s women. 

They have waited for this wrong to be righted for far too long already.”

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