WASPI blast DWP for 'dragging heels' after compensation bill delayed

WASPI campaigners have blasted the "out of touch" government as the WASPI compensation bill was delayed again. SNP MP Alan Brown was due to present his bill for its second reading after it was delayed last month, but it was pushed back again.

Speaking to the Daily Express newspaper, Angela Madden, a WASPI campaign chief, said: "It is disappointing to once again see the bill run out of time to be considered in Parliament. This only emphasises the point that ministers must stop dragging their heels and bring forward an urgent vote on their compensation proposals in Government time before the summer recess."

She also thanked Mr Brown and said the government was "out of touch" in its handling of the scandal. Conservative MP Peter Aldous (Waveney) said it would create a “constitutional gap” if the recommendations of the ombudsman were not acted on, adding that “a mechanism should be put in place before the summer recess”.

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Mr Aldous, co-chairman of the State Pension Inequality for Women All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) said: “Finite resources are not an excuse for failing to provide a fair remedy. If Parliament chooses to do nothing, that will undermine the ombudsman. The DWP should respect what Parliament recommends.”

Conservative Party MP Paul Maynard said he had heard this message “clearly”, adding: “We do not wish undue delay, but as I keep saying it is a complex issue, not just a matter of ticking a box, so it needs to be got right.”

Conservative former minister Andrew Selous said: “If we’re going to spend billions on this, then we have to be honest about what other things we cannot spend money on, things that those Waspi women themselves may very much want, or what other services we’re going to have to cut, or what other taxes are we going to have to raise.”

He added that the Government should “look at a dedicated fund in the Treasury reserves for contingencies”. During a backbench debate on the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) report, it was said the Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women suffered a “gross injustice” because of maladministration on the part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).