New State Pension age debate on compensation for WASPI women due this month

Millions of women born in the 1950s affected by changes to their State Pension age could see progress on calls for compensation later this month after SNP MP Patricia Gibson confirmed that a debate and vote is scheduled to take place in Parliament on Thursday, May 16. The North Ayrshire and Arran MP presented an Early Day Motion to the Backbench Business Committee last month, hoping that the debate will at least reach an agreement, through a vote, that redress should be made to those impacted.

Ms Gibson also confirmed on social media that the debate will take place in the afternoon and urged nearly 14,000 followers to ask their MP to attend.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, she said: “My debate application, and vote to progress matters and the need to accept the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s (PHSO) report on the injustice inflicted on WASPI women (Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign) born in the 1950s, is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday 16th May. Ask your MP to attend.”

The MP is a consistently vocal supporter of WASPI women in her own constituency and across the country - her motion has been backed by 60 MPs from across all political parties.

Ms Gibson explained to the Backbench Business Committee in April that a debate was needed to agree in principle, that compensation should be paid to all women impacted - not on an actual redress figure at this stage.

She said that following the publication of the PSO's final report on March 21, there has been “no commitment by either the current conservative government or the expected incoming Labour government to commit to even the principle of compensation ”.

Ms Gibson explained that it’s not about redress figures at this stage but about “accepting the findings of the report and how we move on from there”.

She added: “I think that the House (of Commons) needs to do what has been recommended in the report which is, and I quote “to act swiftly and make sure a compensation scheme is established as we think this will provide women with the quickest remedy”.

Earlier this week, SNP MP Martyn Day asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when people could expect to see a response to the PHSO report.

In a written response on Tuesday, DWP Pensions Minister Paul Maynard MP said: “In laying the report before Parliament at the end of March, the Ombudsman has brought matters to the attention of this House, and a further update to the House will be provided once the report's findings have been fully considered.”

Another SNP MP, Alan Brown, was due to have the second reading of his State Pension Age (Compensation) Bill heard on April 19, but it has been rescheduled until Friday, May 17.

This means there could be two days back-to-back in Parliament with time set aside specifically for State Pension compensation debates.

Scotland’s soon-to-be former First Minister Humza Yousaf told WASPI campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament last month that the SNP “will not rest until they receive the justice they deserve”.

He also confirmed that he has written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, urging them to be “on the right side of history” in delivering compensation for women impacted by changes to the State Pension age.