Mike's message to WASPI women

An open letter to the women of Weaver Vale, born in the 1950s and badly let down by this Tory government.

To the women of Weaver Vale born in the 1950s.

The Coalition Government’s decision to accelerate the rise in the women’s state pension age had a devastating impact on many women who were born in the 1950s and it is very likely you know this from personal experience.

I support the equalisation of the state pension age, however, I believe it is vital that changes to the state pension age are carefully implemented so that those who are affected are given adequate notice of the changes and have enough time to plan for the future. The decision to accelerate the rise in women’s state pension age has meant that women born in the 1950s did not have enough notice of changes and could not plan for their new circumstances. The impact of these changes has been further exacerbated by the Government’s failure to communicate the changes.

Labour recently announced plans to help end the plight of women in Weaver Vale abandoned to live in poverty by the Tory government’s changes to their state pension age. The equalization of the state pension age has had a devastating impact on many women in Weaver Vale who were born in the 1950s, some of whom are now facing real hardship as a result.  Labour has repeatedly called on the Government to deliver on its promise to look at transitional arrangements for the 1950s women but they have failed to engage.

In 2011 the then Work and Pensions Secretary committed to looking at transitional provisions to help the women who have been hit hardest by the changes but he has failed to do so. There have been a number of Parliamentary debates on this issue in recent months, including a Westminster Hall debate in November 2016, where the Shadow Frontbench urged the Government to take appropriate action.

Given the mishandling of the acceleration of the pension age for women born in the 1950s, which has already caused huge financial worries for 3.48 million women across the country, I believe that the Government should take action as a matter of urgency. 

I will continue to support efforts to press the Government to introduce transitional protections to help the women who have been disadvantaged.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Amesbury

Labour's candidate for Weaver Vale