MP to co-chair group looking at unfair pension changes
East Worthing and Shoreham's MP has joined a cross-party group to look at pension changes affecting women born in the 1950s.
The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign has been lobbying the Government to introduce transitional arrangements for those affected, many of whom were not notified about the changes, and took early retirement, leaving them without any income.
Now Tim Loughton is one of the MPs to join a Parliamentary group on the state pension age to look at the issue, and has been elected to be its co-chair.
He said: “We are not seeking to apportion blame to anybody. We simply want to get the best outcome for these women, many of whom have worked hard for decades without taking a penny out of the system.
“We need to send out a strong message to the WASPI women that there has been a disproportionate effect from perfectly well intentioned changes to the pension age.
“Whilst nobody is disagreeing with the equalisation of the pensionable age, there is a deal to be done, a compromise to be reached and common sense that needs to break out.
“In all my time in the House of Commons, I have never known a debate on the same subject to happen so many times in such a short space of time.
“Clearly MPs from all sides of the House are becoming aware of just how many women are going to be adversely affected by these changes.
“I am therefore proud to have been elected co-chair, as well as a founding member, of this new Parliamentary campaign group. This is an issue that has attracted cross-party support, including a very strong turnout from over 40 Conservative members.
“We now have the weight of numbers to make a difference if the Government’s position remains entrenched and 2.4m WASPI women are not going to go away. In fact they will be coming to us in parliament on 29 June together with their choir and campaign song.
“I hope that the new Work and Pensions Secretary will be receptive to our concerns, and that we will soon have the equitable outcome that the WASPI women deserve. This issue is not going away.”
He met work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb last week and also met his predecessor Iain Duncan Smith to discuss the issue.
In the East Worthing and Shoreham constituency according to the independent House of Commons Library, around 4,200 women are directly affected by the 2011 Pensions Act alone, with 453 local residents signed the e-petition calling for transitional arrangements, which received almost 200,000 signatures nationwide.
The Parliamentary group, which was launched at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday 11 May at a standing room only meeting, will be co-chaired by MPs from each of the parties, and will work closely with the WASPI campaign.
The all-party group will seek to work with Mr Crabb to introduce transitional arrangements.
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