LABOUR will offer pay-outs of up to £31,000, with an average payment of £15,000, to compensate 1950s women hit by the Coalition Government’s state pension changes.
3.7 million women born in the 1950s have been affected by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government’s decision in 2011 to accelerate increases to the state pension age. The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, said Labour’s planned pay-outs to compensate for this were a “historic debt of honour” to the women affected.
Nia Griffith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Llanelli constituency, explained, “The callous decision by the Tories and Lib Dems to bring forward the pension age change for 1950s women left millions with no time to make alternative plans, in some instances with devastating consequences.
“Labour has listened to 1950s women and will compensate those who were unfairly hit by this decision and give them the justice they deserve. This is fantastic news for the women affected, with average pay-outs of £15,000 and up to £31,000. Thank you to all who have campaigned so hard.”
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said, “This week, Boris Johnson dismissed the concerns of a woman who has lost out on her pension, telling her it’s “not possible” to right the huge wrong she and so many others have suffered.
“This is about consideration for those who have paid into the system all their lives and made this country what it is, only to be hung out to dry by a government that puts the interests of the richest first. The next Labour government will compensate women who were unfairly hit by the rise in the state pension age and give them the respect they deserve.
“The powerful and wealthy want you to believe that real change is impossible, that it’s not realistic. But it is possible with Labour. Because Labour is not on the side of the billionaires and the bankers, we are on the side of the people.”
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said, “We’ve prepared a scheme to compensate these women for a historical wrong. It’s one that they were not been able to prepare for and for which they’ve had to suffer serious financial consequences for as a result. Some of them have been hit by a combination of poverty and stress, having lost out on what they had contributed towards.
“These changes were imposed upon them by a Tory-led government. So we have a historical debt of honour to them and when go into government we are going to fulfil that debt. We will introduce it as rapidly as we practically can and we will try to ensure the payments are made promptly. It’s a five year scheme and they will get their redress over that five year period.
“This is a basic principle of justice that we have to adhere to as a government and we are hoping that people will appreciate the sense of injustice and anger that these women feel about the changes that were imposed upon them.”