Bob Seely supports women seeking transition payments over pensions unfairness
Island MP Bob Seely has suggested that the Government offers transition payments to women who have lost out through legislation to equalise the state pension age between men and women.
Thousands born in the 1950s are affected on the Island by the rules to equalise pensions which means the women cannot claim a state pension until 66 when they had been told it would be 60.
Speaking in Parliament on the issue today, Bob said he had been moved by hearing stories of hardship from Island women who are campaigning for a better deal under the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.
He told MPs he accepted the changes were unfair and that many women had been told very late this would happen to them.
“This is an important cause that affects thousands of women on the Isle of Wight and I have had the pleasure of meeting my WASPI representatives on several occasions,” he said.
“I have heard many stories of hardship from WASPI women on the Island – many of whom found out at the very late stage of the day that their pensions would be extremely negatively affected.
“And these are not spendthrift people; they are people who have either raised families or worked hard and have paid into the system over many years and it pains me to read stories of hardship from them.
“My concern for the Government is that a pensions bill may force this issue and I do believe on the grounds of fairness and common sense that moving in some way to rectify this issue now would be better than being forced to do so later in the day.
“So, if there were a way of seeking a transition payment, or a mechanism that could be found to alleviate some of the worst problems faced by the WASPI women, who are an admirable cause in my opinion, the Government would get my full support.”
Speaking after the debate, Bob said he would continue to talk to local WASPI campaigners and lobby the government on their behalf.
“I abstained on the vote for this debate because it was non-binding and would do nothing to help these women. What will help is pressure from MPs, like myself, who support the WASPI cause and are prepared to make their case with the relevant ministers.”
Women born between 6th April 1951 and until 6th April 1960 are affected by the six-year jump and miss out.