With the EU referendum likely to dominate politics until June 23 and beyond, it would be easy to forget there are other important matters.
One of them, which could carry a sting in the tail for the government, is the WASPI campaign.
WASPI, which stands for Women Against State Pension Inequality, is campaigning on behalf of those unfairly impacted by plans to equalise women’s state pension age with men’s.
Since the 1940’s women have expected to receive their pension at 60, but in 1995 and 2011 that changed to 66. Women born on or after April 6, 1951, were most affected, and although many accept, sometimes reluctantly, the need for raising the retirement age, the key complaint is the government’s failure to provide timely or proper information about the changes. Many women only found out as they approached 60 that they would have to wait six years longer, without time to prepare alternative plans.
The Work and Pensions Select Committee called on the government to make up for its mishandling and the Commons has voted in favour of the women. The government response, a review, doesn’t address the main concerns. A total of 2.6 million women are affected, some live in my constituency. A court challenge may be possible and a petition of parliament is being prepared.
Anyone who believes they may be affected should get in touch with their MP.