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State Pension Age (Women)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:33 pm on 7th January 2016.

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Photo of Nick Thomas-Symonds Nick Thomas-Symonds Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) 2:33 pm, 7th January 2016

I commend Mhairi Black for securing and opening this debate. It is perhaps an irony, however, as we are discussing pensions, that she is further from retirement age than any other Member of this House. I also want to pay a warm tribute to WASPI on its campaign and the dignity with which it has conducted it. It is a measure of the campaign’s success that every Member of this House knows the meaning of the acronym WASPI. I also pay tribute to the other groups and individuals who have been advocating the cause of women born in the 1950s.

The level of interest in this debate is summed up by the fact that we have had 26 Back-Bench contributions from Members from all parts of the United Kingdom. I want to pick out two contributions: that of my hon. Friend Andrew Gwynne, who has done so much work on this in recent years, and that of my hon. Friend Barbara Keeley, whose deep commitment to this is known across the House.

I also want to pay tribute to my Labour colleagues who in 2011, when the Pensions Act was going through this House, pressed the issue of transitional provisions as hard as they could. It is a shame the Government did not listen to many of our proposals set out at the time.