Another year in our WASPI journey is coming to a close. This year we have faced more challenges and achieved some successes along the way.
We close the year with the WASPI issue being debated in the media almost every day. The Campaign has restored governance, reclaimed all assets and end the year in a strong position. Maladministration complaints have reached the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who has begun a preliminary enquiry using a sample of 6 complaints to represent all WASPI women. This was our aim from the very beginning – we are confident that once truly independent experts examine all the issues that they will find in our favour.
We are about to engage counsel but unfortunately it won’t be Bindmans who we must publicly thank for getting us this far. We are in contact with a top class company of UK civil rights and judicial review litigation lawyers and hope to have secured a contract soon.
The Back to 60 Campaign have secured a Judicial Review into the means by which the Government implemented changes to the State Pension age. Not all the issues we have raised in our maladministration complaints will be considered by this review, although there is bound to be some overlap. We also understand that the High Court cannot make decisions about maladministration. All this being said, we understand that the PHSO is suspending further enquiries into our complaints until the Judicial Review judgement is available. This is disappointing, but gives us an opportunity to regroup with our new lawyers.
In the new year we will be reinstating the membership committee. Each member may nominate a member to join this committee. Two members from the committee will be elected to join the Board to make sure members’ views are considered when moving the campaign forward. If you wish to contribute to the future of the campaign, please volunteer. For more information visit the website at www.waspi.co.uk.
There is some confusion being caused by a new campaign started earlier this year. They call themselves the WASPI Campaign 2018 and are passing themselves off as the original WASPI Campaign. We are working with our lawyers to resolve this, as it is has the potential to cause confusion amongst politicians, the media and the general public. It is a very small campaign at present and we feel it best to ensure early on that they don’t pass themselves off as our very successful campaign.
There are many groups representing 1950s women now, and we wish them all well. We are all campaigning against the injustice suffered as a result of the Pensions Acts of 1995, 2007 and 2011. We feel that our ask is the original and best. We do not ask for the pensions age to be reverted to 60, we ask for fair transitional arrangements for all women born in the 1950s who have been adversely affected by the changes to the State Pensions laws. All the other groups are also proud to campaign for their respective asks in their own name.
The New Year will prove challenging for us. But we have the will and the support of our members, our network of local groups and their coordinators, and many politicians to help us to achieve recompense for all 1950s women.
We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
The WASPI Team