Hope for WASPI women as MPs back compensation call

Debbie de Spon, the Norfolk WASPI group coordinator.

Debbie de Spon, Norfolk WASPI group coordinator, and communications officer for the national campaign. - Credit: Debbie de Spon

Norfolk and Suffolk campaigners for women hit by changes to state pensions have been boosted by a cross-party parliamentary group's compensation call.

Changes to the state pension age saw women born in the 1950s left with an additional six-year wait before receiving their state pensions - leaving many faced with dire financial straits or forced to continue working.

They said the government did not give enough warning when they introduced changes to the state pension age.

And last year, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman confirmed the Department for Work and Pensions "did not get it right" in making women aware of these changes from 2005 onwards - and that amounted to maladministration.

Further stages of the process will assess what recommendations, including potential compensation, the ombudsman would make to remedy it.

And the campaigners' battle has been boosted by the submission of the State Pension Inequality for Women All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), co-chaired by Waveney Conservative MP Peter Aldous, to the ombudsman.

MP Peter Aldous

Waveney MP Peter Aldous - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

Their report states: "It is the APPG’s view that not only has DWP maladministration impacted on 1950s-born women financially, but it had also caused extraordinary emotional, physical and
psychological distress to the cohort.

"The APPG strongly feels that now is the time for 1950s-women to be given fast and proper compensation for the impact of successive maladministration."

WASPI women protesting

A WASPI protest. - Credit: WASPI Campaign

Norfolk-based Debbie de Spon from WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality, said the campaign group warmly welcomed the submission by the APPG.

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Ms De Spon, from Wymondham, said: “The impact of Department for Work and Pensions maladministration on 1950s-born women has been as devastating as it is widespread.

"The APPG believes that the case for category 6 injustice is overwhelming and clear.

"Women have had their emotional, physical, and mental circumstances totally obliterated by a lack of reasonable notice.

"These impacts must be addressed, if we are to reach any kind of conclusion regarding this injustice.

"WASPI has been campaigning for six years on this issue, and it’s time the government accepted its failings and agreed fair and fast compensation of an historic injustice for 1950s women."