Liz Truss grilled by WASPI woman on offering pension help
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WASPI woman Patricia Morgan challenged Liz Truss about her plans to compensate women who are demanding compensation because of the impact state pension changes had on them. The frontrunner to be the next PM said she sympathised with the women but hinted that compensation wasn’t likely saying “it would be very difficult to go back”.
Waspi women, or Women Against State Pension Injustice, are a group of women fighting for compensation for up to 3.5 million women of their peers born in the 1950s who were forced to work up to six years longer than expected.
Campaigners are angry they were not given sufficient warning of the change, which saw their retirement age jump from 60 to 65, before rising again to 66 in 2020.
The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman has ruled in their favour and says the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should have written individual letters to the women concerned 28 months before it finally sent them out.
However, despite this ruling, Waspi women are still fighting for compensation they believe is rightfully theirs.
Waspi woman Patricia Morgan pressed the Tory leadership contender and asked whether she would review the demands of Waspi campaigners.
She said: “We’ve had the rug pulled from underneath after many of us going into the labour market at 20, 21, 22 – we worked for 40 years, 45 years only to find that we’d have to wait an additional six years for the pension that we were promised when we were 60.
“Boris Johnson, when he was in your shoes, said he would look at this injustice with fresh eyes, he also added there was no magic money tree but there’s been a veritable orchard over the last couple of years.
“Money has been there for everything else and we feel disrespected., undervalued, we feel a country that treats its older people like this is not a civilised country that values the contributions we’ve made.”
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While Ms Truss clearly sympathised with the plight of these women she admitted things were unlikely to change under her Government.
She said: “I have huge sympathy for Waspi women.
“I do think in the pension and tax system we haven’t looked after women fairly and women have suffered.
“It’s a problem, one thing I’ve said I will do is review our overall tax system to make it fairer for families, for people who take time out of work to look after children or look after elderly relatives.
“To be honest with you, and I have to be honest, on this specific case of the Waspi women, I don’t think it was handled very well at the time, I completely admit that and there wasn’t enough respect shown, but I think where we are now, it would be very difficult to go back.”
The news has angered some readers of Express.co.uk who say pensioners are already struggling to get by on the state pension which isn’t enough to live on.
One reader @7895 wrote: “My 88 year old neighbour has just found a job to help ends meet. Bless.”
Another reader @woff Woff_ said: “Truss can’t be trusted. She discriminates against the old and abuses Pension rights for WASPI women.
“Yet Government spends billions on Wars, foreign aid, green agenda no one voted for!”
However, not everyone agreed with some readers saying the women’s state pension age should be equal to men.
@welcome12 wrote: “Why should she?
“I’m a pensioner.
“I know the government gave enough notice to adapt.
“People are claiming to be a victim when they have known for years. Keep up the good work Liz.”
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