Louise Haigh, Labour Member of Parliament for Sheffield Heeley, has today called for the Government to take action to end the injustice of women - born in the 1950s - bearing the brunt of changes made by the Coalition Government at short notice.
The 1996 State Pension Act made provision for the pension age to rise to 65 for women from 60 over the period 2010-2020. The Coalition Government legislated in the Pensions Act 2011 to accelerate the later part of this timetable, so that women's SPA will now reach 65 by November 2018, with the SPA reaching 66 in 2020. This has had a particularly dramatic effect on women in born in the 1950s.
Over 107,000 people have signed the petition calling for transitional arrangements for all women born on or after 1st April 1951 who have unfairly borne the burden of speeding up of the rise in the state pension age.
Louise used the debate in Parliament to raise the case of her constituents who have contacted her in desperation, some of whom are now facing real financial hardship and were only given 2 years notice of the change.
Louise raised the case of one constituent who contacted her in despair telling Louise she will lose up to £36,000 in pension payments as a result and was given just 2 years notice of the change and as such is having real difficulty planning the care needs of her family.
These stories are being repeated across Sheffield and the country. Adding to the sense of injustice were remarks from the former Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, who was tasked with steering the changes through Parliament. He said the changes had been a "bad decision" and were the result of being "poorly briefed."
Responding Louise Haigh said:
"It is absolutely vital that the Government now own up about their mistake before further damage is done. The Government must immediately release all documents they hold assessing the impact of the State Pension Age changes and release information on what considerations the government have given to transitional arrangement."
"It is unacceptable that women - who had their retirement plan in place for years - are suddenly plunged into financial harship and stress from a decision the Minister who introduced the changes accepts was a mistake. It's time the Government introduced transitional support for these women, who have been treat appallingly despite the fact many of them have contributed and worked hard since they were 16."
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