New calls for urgent vote on State Pension compensation for all women impacted by retirement age changes

Senior MPs have rallied behind calls from WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign) campaigners urging the UK Government to pay compensation to millions of women born in the 1950s who have been impacted by changes made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to the official age of retirement.

The Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson, Wendy Chamberlain MP, led the calls in a letter to Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Mel Stride on Wednesday morning. Former Conservative minister John Penrose, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and the SNP’s Joanna Cherry also joined Labour and DUP MPs in backing the initiative to force a Commons debate and vote.

Earlier this week, SNP MP Patricia Gibson presented an Early Day Motion backed by 60 MPS to the Backbench Business Committee, putting forward an argument on the need for the debate. The North Ayrshire and Arran MP said that it would be to agree in principle, that compensation should be paid to all women impacted - not on an actual redress figure at this stage.

Interim Chair of the Committee, Bob Blackman MP, suggested that due to the number of MPs keen to take part in the debate, it would be more practical for an afternoon session in the House of Commons in May, after Ms Gibson highlighted that “due to the nature of the debate, a lot of constituents will be asking their MPs to attend”.

Campaigners from the WASPI group say 3.6 million women were affected after they were not properly informed about increases to their State Pension age.

After a six-year investigation, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) concluded last month that compensation should be paid to those affected.

The cross-party letter calls on ministers to make time for an “urgent debate and vote”, following the release of the landmark report.

MPs say they stand ready to “promptly deliver justice” to those affected, with Parliamentarians urging ministers to bring forward compensation proposals before the summer recess.

Meanwhile, more than 231,000 people have signed a open letter to Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, echoing calls for a Parliamentary debate and vote in Government time.

It is thought 3,000 WASPI women have died since the PHSO’s findings were published on March 21, 2024.

Angela Madden, Chair of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, said: “The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report was published nearly one month ago and with no timeline for the Government’s compensation proposals yet published, it appears ministers have gone into hiding.

“The report contains three straightforward conclusions: the DWP failed us very badly; WASPI women should be compensated; and Parliament should intervene to set up a scheme.

“The Government should listen to the views of the Commons and the country - all MPs must be given an urgent debate and vote before the summer recess so we can finally put an end to this injustice.”

Wendy Chamberlain MP said: “With MPs returning to Westminster this week, Ministers have the opportunity to set out a clear timetable for delivering compensation and to allow Parliament to debate and vote on any proposals they bring forward.

“With 3,000 WASPI women dying since the release of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report last month, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”

You can view the open letter on the website here.