Every one of us in this room, particularly Conservative Members, could read out cases from people who have written to us and come to see us about the inequality and the disgrace that is going on today and should never have been allowed to happen.
My constituent Elizabeth goes on to say:
“I started work at age 16 and believed for 25 years that I would receive my pension at 60 only to have this changed not once but twice” in her lifetime. She continues:
“I feel betrayed by the government and that women of my age have been discriminated against most of our working lives, denied the ability to prepare for our retirement and are now taking the biggest hit of all so the government can rush through the transition to equal retirement age to save money.”
I believe that the Minister is a decent man, but I am not sure that he will have the power or the authority today to do what we think should be done.
The ex-Minister responsible for this was Mr Webb, the Liberal Democrats’ human shield. Where are the Liberal Democrats today? Is anybody here from the Liberal Democrats? Perhaps they are ashamed of him, as they should be, for being a human shield for the austerity agenda that they forced through during five years in coalition. He says now that he made a mistake. He admits that it was an error and he was not properly briefed by people in the DWP.
The hon. Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire South was absolutely right to say that this is a contract with the people of this country. Yet the people of this country had no say in that contract; there was no proper negotiation where they could say, “Let me have my say and you have yours.” It was a contract imposed on them, and it has been breached. That needs to be put right and we need to do the right thing.