Personal Finance

Calls for public inquiry into state pension hike for 1950s women gains ground

A petition calling for a public inquiry to “expose the truth” behind the (Women against state pension inequality) issue is gaining ground.

The Parliamentary petition has now had more than 6,000 signatures, well over half the amount needed to reach the 10,000 benchmark, which will mean the petition gets a response from the Government.

The fresh campaign was launched by Kay Clarke, the founder of 1950s Women of Wales, a separate group advocating for compensation for the WASPI generation.

She is now working to “get as much information on paper as we can” since the start of their campaign, to be given to the inquiry if such an investigation does take place.

She also said her group are planning another rally outside Parliament, to coincide with an event such as on the quetion of compensation.

An MP backing the WASPI cause it was “disgraceful” that the Government has yet to act on the issue of providing compensation for the women affected.

The petition states: “We request a public inquiry into the state pension age changes for women, which we believe have left many in a state of financial and mental despair.

“We believe the Government has had little or no consideration of the circumstances, historic inequality, mental health and wellbeing of 1950s women.

“We believe that women affected by these changes were given inadequate notice that they would have to wait in some cases a further six years to receive the State Pension. We believe a public inquiry is necessary to expose the truth.”

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has deemed that there was “maladministration” in how the rise in the state pension age was communicated to the WASPI generation of women.

Pressure is growing on the Government to act on the question of compensation, after from the Ombudsman called for payouts of between £1,000 and £2,950.

If the petition can get 100,000 signatures, the issue will be debated in Parliament.

Labour MP Grahame Morris is one of a cross-party group of MPs calling for the Government to act. He : “The PHSO’s recommendations fail to acknowledge the full extent of the hardship and suffering caused to WASPI women.

“In my view, these recommendations represent the minimum level of compensation they should receive and I continue to support the more than 5,000 women in my constituency seeking full recompense.

“The Government has sought to delay and frustrate this campaign, meaning over 250,000 women have died without receiving pension justice.

“The Government must act in a timely manner to establish a fair system of compensation in order to right this historic injustice.”

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