WASPI women head to Holyrood in plea for justice

WASPI campaigners from the Borders attended a reception at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, in a bid to push for an immediate payment for women who lost out when the pension age was moved from 60 to 66.

By Kevin Janiak
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 12:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 12:25 pm
From left: Waspi campaigners Liz Nicol, Elaine Thornton- Nicol, Elaine Burns and Lynne Craighead at the Scottish Parliament.

The event comes in a week in which new figures have revealed that almost a quarter of a million women will have died waiting for compensation by the end of the year.

Detailed analysis carried out by Statista shows 220,190 women will have died in the seven years since the campaign started to get women born in the 1950s compensation for failures to inform them of the pension age moving, which will have saved the UK Government an estimated £3.8bn in compensation.

The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign is calling for an immediate one-off compensation payment of between £11,666 and £20,000, with the most going to women who were given the shortest notice of the longest increase in their state pension age. Some were given only one year’s notice of a six-year delay to their retirement.

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The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman have found that the Department for Work and Pensions is guilty of maladministration over the matter, but the government is waiting for further reports before releasing the compensation amounts to affected women.

Campaigners from the Scottish Borders travelled up to Holyrood for a special reception on Tuesday evening.

Local campaigner Lynne Craighead said: “It was very good, and there were lots of WASPI ladies there.

"Unfortunately, dreaded Covid had struck and several of the MSPs who were supposed to be there couldn’t make it.

“It was a bit spooky … that big building with hardly anyone in it.

"There is also an exhibition there this week, with two WASPI ladies speaking each day, and I’m heading back on Thursday to speak.

"Hopefully it will be a little busier then, with First Minister’s Questions being held that day.”

There is a motion lodged at Holyrood which asks that the “Parliament regrets what it sees as the UK Government's inaction to end the injustice experienced by women affected by the changes to state pension laws” and notes the campaign, which has achieved cross-party support, but has five weeks to secure enough support to launch a debate.