Faisal Rashid is ‘delighted’ that the Labour Party have confirmed that they will compensate 1950s-born women unfairly impacted by changes to the state pension, ensuring compensation under a Labour Government for many of the 6,000 women affected in Warrington South. The campaign, led by ‘Women Against State Pension Inequality’ (WASPI), has been one of Faisal’s key priorities since his election as local MP for Warrington South in 2017. Faisal used his maiden speech in Parliament to urge for Government action on this issue and has secured backing for 1950s-born women from senior trade union leaders.
The generation of women born in the 1950s were betrayed by the Coalition Government’s decision to accelerate the equalisation of the state pension age, yet the Tories are refusing to support women who’ve seen their retirement plans scuppered.
On Saturday (23rd November), Labour announced that it will compensate 1950s women with a “weekly redress” based on the number of lost weeks of their pension and the amount of time they had to prepare. With a full weekly redress payment of £100, the average compensation would be £15,400, paid in installments over five years.
Labour’s pledge to 1950s-born women recognises a historic injustice which is still being addressed through the courts, rather than a manifesto policy decision of the normal form. It therefore does not appear in the Grey Book, just as the Government doesn’t have to “score” a cost incurred when the Government has to implement the result of a court case or settlement (as, for example, when the Government has lost cases over the bedroom tax or lung disease suffered by miners).
Over 6,000 women have been affected by changes to the State Pension age in Warrington South alone. They were not given fair notification of the changes and some received no notice at all. As a result of the changes, many 1950s-born women are struggling financially and several have been left destitute, despite having worked for their entire lives drawing little or no state benefits. The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have offered nothing for 1950s-born women during this election campaign. Both parties were responsible for the acceleration of changes to the state pension age in Coalition Government and refuse to right this historic wrong.
Faisal has been officially endorsed by Back to 60, one of the two main campaign groups organised by 1950s-born women, who have described his support as “invaluable”.
Faisal Rashid, Labour’s Candidate in Warrington South, said:
“I am delighted that, under a Labour Government, these women will receive just compensation for a historical wrong. In Warrington South, over 6,000 women have had their state pensions deferred by stealth, for the meanest state pension in Europe – all under the false premise of equality and longevity.
“As a result of these changes, many women who worked hard their entire lives, drawing little or no state benefits, have had to struggle as they get older to make ends meet. I think that is utterly shameful, and it is why I made this campaign central to my work as an MP.
“As your local MP for Warrington South, I was proud to stand alongside 1950s-born women and back their calls for action – I am thrilled that they have been finally heard.
“It is disappointing that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties have offered these women nothing. Under the Tories, 400,000 pensioners have been pushed into poverty. It doesn’t have to be like this. This announcement has shown that if you’re reaching old age, Labour is on your side.”
Joanne Welch, Campaign Director of the Back to 60 Campaign, said:
“Back to 60 are delighted to endorse your local Labour candidate, Faisal Rashid. His invaluable support for 3.8 million women born in the 1950s will stand in perpetuity for Women’s Rights”.