HOW TO LOBBY YOUR MP – WHAT IS LOBBYING?
The word ‘lobbying’ comes from the process of MPs gathering in the lobbies of the House of Commons and it just means a form of communication with an MP about an issue a constituent wants the MP to pursue on their behalf. MPs can be lobbied in person, by letter, by email or by telephoning them. We all have a democratic right to lobby our own constituency MPs. Lobbying is the process of contacting and attempting to influence your own constituency MP either individually or in a group (with fellow constituents). Many individuals and pressure groups use this as a means of getting support for their issue or campaign and by doing so can put pressure on the government to bring about change.
WHO CAN LOBBY?
Only a constituent is entitled to lobby their own MP so you can’t ask to lobby an MP who is not your constituency MP. Only your own MP can act on your behalf. A face-to-face meeting is ideal if you can arrange one.
Be well prepared in advance so you can put across your issues as clearly as possible (you may not be given much time). There is further information below to help you with putting your points across and counter arguments should your MP not be supportive. Have a clear idea of what you want your MP to do i.e., write a letter, ask a Question in Parliament etc.
It would be worth doing some research on your MP in advance, so you are aware of their voting pattern (and what they look like, so you recognise them!) The website www.theyworkforyou.com is a useful source of information or try your MPs own website.
Click here to download a TEMPLATE LETTER TO SEND TO YOUR MP
THE MAIN DISCUSSION POINTS:
- We are not against equalisation.
- We are not asking for the State Pension Age (SPa) to be put back to age 60.
- We are asking for fair and fast compensation for the lack of notice we received.
- The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has already found that there was maladministration by the DWP in the way it failed to inform women adequately. There is nothing to stop the Government taking immediate action to compensate women affected.
- We protest about the lack of/lateness of notice and the resulting speed of implementation.
- Explain that many women only received 1 or two years notice of a six-year increase.
- Tell your MP how the lack of notice has affected you. If you have savings or a personal pension, what decisions you would have taken if you had known earlier about the SPa increase. (Not given up work to provide care, worked part time, saved more into your pension etc. Also tell him/her how not knowing about the increase to your SPa has affected you emotionally and physically)
- Tell your MP this must NOT be means-tested. We have ALL paid in and those of us who have managed to save should not be punished again.
- If your MP tells you that ‘there is no money’ point out that there is ALWAYS money and that ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. WASPI women are only asking for a fraction of what they have lost by way of compensation for the lack of notice. The Treasury have saved £220billion by increasing the State Pension age.
- Ask your MP to support you/us/WASPI, to put his/her weight behind the campaign and to make representations to Laura Trott (Minister of State for Pensions), Further information on waspi.co.uk
AFTER THE MEETING
Follow up your meeting with an email or letter thanking your MP for seeing you and outlining the main points of the discussion and your expectations of your MP because of your meeting.