WASPI compensation update issued by Rishi Sunak as long wait for pensioners continues

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been pressed on the issue -Credit:(Image: PARLIAMENT TV)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has addressed the ongoing issue of compensation for WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women during Prime Minister's Questions. SNP MP Chris Law pressed Mr Sunak on the matter, asking: "Can the Prime Minister finally set out when the WASPI women will receive the compensation they rightly deserve? "

He also mentioned a motion by the Scottish Government advocating for full compensation for the affected 3.8 million women. In his response, Mr Sunak acknowledged the urgency and strong feelings surrounding the issue, stating: "I understand the strong feelings across the Chamber on this topic and the desire for urgency in addressing them."

He emphasised the need for a careful review of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's report, which followed a five-year investigation and recommended payments ranging from £1,000 to £2,950. Mr Sunak added: "However, following the ombudsman's five-year investigation, it is imperative that we take the time to thoroughly review the comprehensive findings that have been published."

The Prime Minister assured that an update would be provided after the report's findings are fully considered, adding: "An update to the House will be provided once the report's findings have been fully considered," reports the Express.

While some MPs support larger payouts, with one suggesting amounts over £10,000, Mr Sunak concluded by reaffirming the government's commitment to pensioners: "More broadly, we are committed to ensuring that pensioners have the dignity and security in retirement that they deserve. Most recently, we increased the state pension by £900 a year, thanks to the triple lock."

Members of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) met with a committee in Parliament earlier this week. They suggested that there could be a case for some Women Against State Pension Increase (WASPI) women to receive payments above the levels outlined in the report.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, the interim PHSO ombudsman, informed the Work and Pensions Committee: "The findings that the recommendations that we made were based on the sample cases that we dealt with. We did not find any incidence there of direct financial loss but we don't exclude that possibly being the case in relation to other cases."

After the meeting, WASPI chair Angle Madden said: "There are women that we know have lost out financially. We think a lot of women have suffered direct financial loss. If like me you'd given up a full time job to look after a frail parent or someone else, that feels like a financial loss, that feels like a huge financial decision."