I spoke this week in Westminster during an opposition day debate brought by the SNP on the issues affecting WASPI women. These are women who were born in the 50’s and whose pension age has recently been equalised with men. Though it was only an opposition day debate and an SNP one at that, the Chamber was pretty full as it’s an issue which affects many hundreds of thousands of women across the UK.
There was a considerable amount of humbug thrown around the Chamber as all sides appeared to profess complete ignorance of their own party’s culpability. A point I made forcefully in my own contribution; we are all culpable and we all let these WASPI women down. The Tories for not properly communicating the impact years ago when they introduced the pensions act in 1995, the Labour government who agreed with the changes for their 13 years of government but singularly failed to tell the women about what was coming down the track, the coalition for speeding up the age to be impacted and, from what I gathered during the debate, the SNP because they have the powers in Scotland to do something but prefer instead to just blame everyone else. Not an edifying sight frankly.
I went on to urge the government to pay WASPI women a proper transition payment to make up for their loss. It’s the least the government can do (it’s the least all of us can do frankly) and it would also be the right thing. This generation of women, our wives, our mothers, our friends, have been treated shoddily so less humbug and more honesty from all politicians I suspect would be appreciated. I will keep actively pressing the WASPI case in parliament.
CLICK THE BELOW to watch Stephen's speech from Wednesday's debate.