UK Government Criticized for Delaying Compensation for 1950s-Born Women

The UK Government faces criticism for delaying a compensation package for women born in the 1950s affected by state pension age changes. A Parliamentary report ruled the Department for Work and Pensions committed maladministration, recommending compensation, but the Government has yet to act.

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Bijay Laxmi
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UK Government Criticized for Delaying Compensation for 1950s-Born Women

UK Government Criticized for Delaying Compensation for 1950s-Born Women

The UK Government faces growing criticism for delaying a compensation package for women born in the 1950s who were affected by changes to the state pension age. The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign argues that these women were not properly informed about the changes, which left many facing financial hardship.

Why this matters: The delayed compensation package has significant implications for the financial security and well-being of thousands of women, highlighting the need for governments to prioritize transparent communication and fair treatment of citizens. The outcome of this issue may set a precedent for how governments respond to similar cases of maladministration in the future.

A Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) report in March ruled that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) committed maladministration by failing to adequately communicate the impact of the state pension age changes. The report recommended compensation for affected women, but the Government has yet to announce a plan for financial redress.

Labour MP Richard Burgon called on the Government to bring forward a vote on a compensation package before the summer, stating, "Time is not on their side. When will the Government stop dragging its feet?" SNP MPs have also urged action, with David Linden accusing the Government of hoping the issue will get lost during an election campaign.

The urgency of the situation is underscored by reports that 270,000 WASPI women have died while awaiting justice, with one woman dying every 13 minutes. A new poll suggests that two-thirds of the public believe the Government should urgently pay fair compensation to all affected women.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride assured that "there will be no undue delay" in the Government's response to the PHSO report. However, WASPI chair Angela Madden urged the Government to enable MPs to vote on a compensation package before the summer and an election, calling for payments starting at £10,000.

The state pension age for women rose from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2018, with plans to increase it to 66 by 2020 and eventually to 68. While the equalization of the state pension age was aimed at addressing gender inequality, many argue that the Government failed to properly communicate the changes and their impact on 1950s-born women.

As the Government faces mounting pressure to address this issue, affected women continue to await justice. With debates and votes on state pension age compensation scheduled in Parliament in the coming days, the fate of 1950s-born women hangs in the balance. The public has made it clear that fair and swift compensation is expected, leaving both the Government and the opposition to clarify their positions and take decisive action.

Key Takeaways

  • UK Gov't delays compensation for 1950s-born women affected by state pension age changes.
  • Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign argues women weren't properly informed.
  • Parliamentary report finds maladministration by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
  • 270,000 WASPI women have died while awaiting justice, with 2/3 of public supporting urgent compensation.
  • Gov't faces pressure to act, with debates and votes on compensation scheduled in Parliament.