The WASPI campaign has today responded to proposals put forward by Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Debbie Abrahams to allow WASPI women to retire up to two years early.
Responding to the announcement, WASPI Director Jane Cowley said:
“We are disappointed and concerned by the announcement made by the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions at Labour Party Conference this afternoon and the details provided in the media in advance of it this morning.
This morning it was reported that the proposal due to be announced would only apply to some WASPI women. This is no better than the actuarial reduced pension suggested some time ago and rejected by the WASPI Campaign because it pushes women into pensioner poverty.
We released a short statement earlier today explaining how concerned we were with this suggested proposal which would include elements of means testing and does not include any level of compensation for those who have lost such significant amounts of their State Pension.
We have since met with many Labour MPs and campaign supporters at the conference to raise our concerns quickly and directly. While the proposal reported this morning was very disappointing we have taken comfort that Labour MPs and our supporters close to the Labour Party shared our concerns. The announcement has come as a shock to many of those MPs, some of whom sit in the Shadow Cabinet.
The speech that has followed this afternoon provided less information that initially reported. We hope this is because those who support our campaign raised their concerns immediately with the leadership of the Labour Party.
Although this means we remain unclear as to what the Labour Party position is, we are grateful for their pledge during the General Election to work directly with WASPI women to identify and deliver the transitional arrangements WASPI women need. We will continue to work with Labour MPs to find a solution which properly recognises the injustice for WASPI women and does not pit us against each other.”