Monday, 26 September 2016 14:26

CALL for corbyn to back SNP report

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The Scottish National Party has called on Jeremy Corbyn to back an independent report into women’s pension inequality that shows it would cost the UK Government billions less to fix than they claim.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign groups have worked tirelessly to bring the issue to the fore and a number of debates have taken place in the House of Commons – with cross-party support for working towards a solution for the 2.6 million women affected.
Last week, the SNP launched an independently researched report which shows transitional measures for women involved in the WASPI campaign would cost £8 billion – a significantly lower sum than the £30 billion that the UK Government claimed it would cost.
Labour MPs previously backed a debate motion in the House of Commons, sponsored by Mhairi Black MP, urging the UK Government to deliver transitional measures for these women who have been denied their pension, and now Mhairi Black MP is calling on Jeremy Corbyn to back the SNP’s report and establish a progressive alliance to ensure the Tories take immediate action.
SNP MP Mhairi Black said:
“Millions of women have been denied the pensions that they are entitled to. Pensions that they have paid into for decades and based their retirement plans on – only to have these retirement plans shattered by the UK Government.
“Our report shows that it would cost the Tories £8 billion to help thousands of women affected by the steepest hike in the state pension age in this Parliament. While that is still a lot of money it is nothing compared to the blank cheque the Tories have written for new nuclear weapons – estimated to cost at least £167 billion.  And the Tories can afford to give WASPI women dignity in retirement by utilising some of the National Insurance Fund surplus – currently expected to be sitting at £26.3 billion at the end 2015/16.
“The SNP will continue to keep up the pressure on the Tories to ensure that they take immediate action to help the WASPI women.  Now that the distraction of Labour’s leadership contest is over, it is time for them to get back down to the business of holding this Tory Government to account and I call on Jeremy Corbyn to back this report and join with the SNP in a progressive alliance to ensure the Tories take action now.”

  1. The 1995 Pensions Act introduced a timetable for rises to women’s state pension age to equalise it with the state pension age for men, this timetable was then rapidly accelerated by the 2011 Pensions Act which affected 2.6 million women with many not being properly informed of the age rises.
  2. The NIF surplus was £23.2 billion at the end of 2013/14, falling to £20.9 billion at the end of 2014/15 2015. GAD’s latest forecasts project a surplus of £25.7 at the end of 2015/16, £26.3 billion at the end of 2016/17 and £30.7 billion at the end of 2017/18, based on prevailing NIC rates.  Any surplus within the National Insurance Fund can only be used for contributory benefits and the State Pension falls into this category.