MP Bob Seely has spoken in Parliament to support the 10,000 WASPI women on the Island who have had their pensions changed unfairly.
Bob said that it was deeply disappointing that “any Government should treat them in such a disrespectful way” and transitional arrangements to help with hardship should be considered.
Women mainly born in the 1950s have suffered due to legislation to equalise the state pension ages for men and women. New rules say they cannot claim a state pension until 66 when they had been told it would be 60.
A campaign by Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is now asking the government to act.
Bob told MPs: “I have a very active WASPI group on the Isle of Wight, which is led by Yvonne Yelland and others. I pay tribute to the work she has done with her WASPI team. I hear many of the same concerns about financial loss and hardship.
“For decades they have brought up families, in many cases been part of traditional husband and wife structures, and played their parts in their communities very well. For us to ignore these ladies and their plight, in effect because we think they will not dissent, go out on the streets or cause problems, is fundamentally to disrespect them and their contributions to public life.
“I am partly motivated by a sense of fairness. These women went into the workforce in a very different era. Not only did they work generally for less pay than their menfolk and male counterparts, but they now find the modest pensions they had hoped to gain have been pushed back—more than once. They have faced not only pay inequality but unfairness over pensions.
“Yvonne and other people from my WASPI group have talked to me about the effect of that on their quality of life. They have to make iniquitous and wretched choices—they are not able to go away or visit their grandchildren, and they perhaps have to think carefully about how they heat their homes in winter.
“Although we are unlikely, for better or worse, to be able to afford to do everything the WASPI women want—I realise we have to balance the books—I hope very much that, now we are moving on in some way from austerity, the Government can move to some kind of transitional arrangement to recognise some of the hardship.”