State Pension WASPI compensation battle - update as Labour makes statement

The Treasury's Chief Secretary, Darren Jones MP said 'Give us a bit of time' when questioned about WASPI compensation battle
-Credit: (Image: BBC)


Darren Jones MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has stated on BBC Breakfast that there is "more work to be done" in creating a suitable compensation plan for millions of women born in the 1950s who have been affected by changes to their State Pension age. Speaking on the popular morning programme on Monday, Mr Jones expressed that the Labour Government requires more information regarding eligibility for compensation or the "different types of schemes that might need to be designed" to assist individuals in varying situations.

However, he informed viewers that the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Liz Kendall MP, has "already talked about picking up that work and taking it forward". His comments were in response to presenter Jon Kay's question: "What about our viewers, the so-called WASPI women (Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign), who want to know what you're going to do on their claims for State Pension compensation? ".

Mr Jones replied: "Before the election, the Ombudsman reported on some of the processes WASPI women were subject to about the change in the [State] Pension age, what we haven't got to yet is a level of report or detail about the eligibility for compensation or the different types of schemes that might need to be designed to support people who are in different circumstances."

He concluded: "There's more work to be done on that (State Pension) and my colleague the Work and Pensions Secretary Liz Kendall has already talked about picking up that work and taking it forward."

Jon Kay pointed out that many are eagerly awaiting the announcement of a compensation plan, noting that the Labour Party, now in power, had previously been waiting in Opposition with polls on their side. He questioned the reason for the delay, reports the Daily Record.

Mr Jones responded by reminding that the Labour Government has only been in power for three days and asked for some patience. He stated that there wasn't much they could do while in Opposition, other than "encouraging the Conservatives to get on with it".

However, he reassured that the Labour Government will address the State Pension compensation issue and move it forward.

Just last week, Angela Madden, Chair of the WASPI campaign, appealed to new Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer not to disappoint millions of women born in the 1950s who are awaiting a compensation plan. She urged the Labour Government not to overlook the significant report published by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) in March, which directed the Conservative government to apologise and implement a compensation plan without further delay.

The Treasury's Chief Secretary, Darren Jones MP said 'Give us a bit of time' when questioned about WASPI compensation battle
The Treasury's Chief Secretary, Darren Jones MP said 'Give us a bit of time' when questioned about the WASPI compensation battle -Credit:BBC

Ms Madden stated: "Hundreds of candidates who actively support WASPI's calls for fair and fast compensation have been elected to this new Parliament. This includes over 70 Liberal Democrat MPs who have been steadfast in their commitment to 1950's-born women and we look forward to working with them to achieve justice."

"With this definitive majority, Labour has been given a strong mandate for delivering change. It is time for them to make good on their MPs' and candidates' record of support to deliver a compensation scheme in the first 100 days of this Parliament."

She added: "Anything else would be to let down millions of 1950s-born women at the very first hurdle and ignoring the government's own independent watchdog would set the wrong tone for a government looking to make change. ".

The PHSO recommended compensation equivalent to Level 4 on its banding scale, which is worth between £1,000 and £2,950.