The introduction of the New State Pension in April 2016 by the Government unfairly affects women born in the 1950s, and I fully share the concerns many people have about the new legislation. A debate was held on Monday 1st February about the issue, prompted by an online petition signed by thousands of people calling for fair transitional state pension arrangements. Women Against State Pension Inequality believe that there has been too little notice of the government’s changes to pensions, and that these changes happened faster than promised, leaving little time for women to plan for retirement.
Many of my constituents will have been affected by the state pension equalisation on women born in the 1950s. Labour has repeatedly called on the Government to look at transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s who have been hit hardest by the changes to the state pension age. However time and time again the Government has refused to listen to this group of women, and has failed to appreciate how these decisions will affect their lives, and their ability to plan for the future.
The Tories’ attitude towards the new pension scheme is evidenced by one work and pensions minister who described unemployment benefit as a possible source of income for the women affected.
The Labour Party believes that older people deserve to have a secure retirement. The Labour Party campaigned on a manifesto of a fair and sustainable pensions system, ensuring that the state pension increased by inflation, average earnings or 2.5%, whichever is highest. We would also ensure that there would be no additional changes to Winter Fuel Payments (beyond restricting them for the richest 5% of pensioners), free TV licenses or bus passes. As can be seen, the Conservatives’ new legislation has not provided the hope of a secure retirement for millions of women in the UK.
Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Pensions Minister made a statement on the matter, saying that “Labour has been pushing the Tories to make clear who will lose out as a result of the new pension arrangements and now the cat is out of the bag…millions of women approaching retirement have been let down by the Government’s mishandling of the rising of the state pension age. It’s become increasingly clear that the Tories are making life ever more difficult for people who are saving for later life.”
MP for Leeds Central