WASPI: Gavin urges new DWP Secretary to think again
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has urged the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to take action to help the 2.6 million women who have been negatively affected by changes made to the state pension.
John Major’s 1995 government passed a State Pensions Act that saw both men and women’s state pension age rise to 65 by 2020, while the Coalition Government’s 2011 Act brought forward the changes to 2018 and raised the state pension age to 66 by October 2020.
These changes, that saw the state pension equalised for both men and women, had a particular impact on women born in the 1950s as many of them have had their state pension age increased twice, second time with very little warning.
Gavin has previously spoken on this issue at Westminster and had today (21/03/2016) written to the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb MP, to urge him to take action to help those women affected.
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“I am sure that Mr Crabb is shocked over his sudden appointment to the post of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. However, even though he has been at the heart of Government for the past six years, and has played an important part in the austerity agenda, I hope he can respond positively to the pension changes that are causing a lot of stress for women across the UK.
“IaIn Duncan Smith left in a dramatic manner last weekend but I don’t think many of the 2.6 million women affected by the pension changes will be sad to see him go. Unfortunately he adopted a very dogmatic approach and constantly failed to listen or acknowledge the impact that is being had on our pensioners.
“These changes have meant that some women will now have to wait an additional 6 years until they start to receive their state pension, and this is pushing a large number of women into poverty.
“These women have paid into the system all their lives and it’s shameful that the rug has been pulled from their feet just as they were about to retire from their jobs.
“I hope that the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions can respond positively to the concerns that have been outlined and offer some much needed assistance to those affected.”