MP wins Commons debate in women’s pensions battle

Grahame Morris, left, with fellow Waspi campaigners on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament.
Grahame Morris, left, with fellow Waspi campaigners on the terrace of the Houses of Parliament.

A debate over thousands of woman who risk losing out on their pensions will be held in Parliament after a petition launched by a North East MP gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

Grahame Morris set up the protest through the Government’s petitions website as he called for a look at the issue, which affects thousands of women born after April 6, 1950, and puts them at risk of losing around £45,000 from their pension.

Campaigners say they do not disagree with a move which equalled the pension age with men from 60 to 65, but Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) has said is against the “unfair way” changes were implemented.

They say the change happened with little or no notice and faster than promised, which meant they could not plan ahead.

Labour’s Mr Morris, MP for Easington, launched the petition, which says there is a need for a non-means tested bridging pension for those affected, along with compensation.

He also asked proper notification is given for any future changes.

The petition has attracted more than 105,000 names, which passes the threshold which sparks a debate in Parliament, with a large proportion of signatures from the North East.

Mr Morris, who has attracted cross-party support, is waiting for a debate date and is pushing for it to he held in the main chamber to raise its profile.

He said: “I think it is a terrible injustice that these women are suffering and I have heard some awful and sad stories about the pressures this has put on women.

“They signed a contract with the Government and made their National Insurance contributions, which are in surplus, and now they losing out on their benefits.”

In response to the petition, the Government has said: “Since 1995 the Government has gone to significant lengths to communicate State Pension age changes.

“There will be no further concessions on this issue to avoid placing an unfair burden on working age people.”

The petition can still be signed via https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200088, which also features a fuller Government response.