Falkirk councillor calls for government to "do the right thing' for Waspi women

It’s time for the UK government “to do the right thing”, a Falkirk councillor has said, as a watchdog says compensation should be paid to women affected by changes to the state pension age.
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The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman delivered the verdict in a report that makes clear women were not properly informed about changes being made to the age at which they would receive their state pension.

But the watchdog has no power to compel the Department of Work and Pensions to pay any compensation so there is still no clarity for those affected.

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Councillor Lorna Binnie has been a champion of the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Injustice) cause for many years.

Councillor Lorna Binnie with fellow Waspi campaigners. Picture: ContributedCouncillor Lorna Binnie with fellow Waspi campaigners. Picture: Contributed
Councillor Lorna Binnie with fellow Waspi campaigners. Picture: Contributed

And while she welcomed the announcement that the women affected are owed compensation she says all political parties must now come together to offer a scheme without further delay.

Ms Binnie and her fellow campaigners in the Falkirk WASPI women group are acutely aware that for many of those affected any compensation it is already too late.

She said: “270,000 Waspi women have died during this campaign time, some have sold their homes, downsized prematurely, borrowed money, and suffered hardship due to the way the DWP handled the communication changes to Women’s State Pension Age, resulting in this injustice.”

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She points out that women are statistically likely to be worse off financially in retirement than men for many reasons.

“Our lives are complex – propping up the social care system, looking after our elderly parents, working part/time, divorced, widowed, caring for grandchildren – with less time to build an occupational pension,” the councillor said.

“We were the backbone of families and society – we still are – and yet the state did not really see us.

“They changed the goalposts without notifying us properly of the state pension age changes – they took us for granted, so now its time they do the right thing – pay out we paid in.

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“With a general election in prospect before the end of the year, we Waspi ladies need united support from all political parties to consider respectful compensation without any further delay.”

Ms Binnie gave a special thank you to Anne Campbell, Falkirk Area Waspi Group champion, saying: “She kept the cause alive for us all.”

Last June, Falkirk Council unanimously agreed to support the councillor’s call for “fair and fast compensation” for Waspi women.

The councillor stressed that it was not the actual change in women’s retirement age – rising from 60 to 66 to be the same as men – that was the problem, but the lack of information about the changes.

Thousands of women say they were not informed at all that they would not get a state pension at the age of 60 as they had expected.

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