State Pension Age: Women

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:09 pm on 30th November 2016.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham 6:09 pm, 30th November 2016

Here we are again. By my calculation, we have had no fewer than 10 debates in Westminster Hall and the Chamber since 2 December last year. In 20 years, I have never known such parliamentary attention on a single subject that was either not instigated by the Government or subject to proposed legislation. We have had over 240 petitions, mass demonstrations by WASPI women all over the country, the best attended all-party group meeting—I am proud to be a co-chair of the group—and unparalleled activity in this Chamber.

As hon. Members have said, this problem is not going to go away: WASPI women are not going to go away and we are not going to go away, yet throughout the entire past 12 months there has been no movement whatever from the Government. There has been no recognition of the very real hardship now being suffered by some of the WASPI women, and no recognition of the disproportionate impact of pension equalisation falling on a minority—albeit a significant minority—of women. We have had three Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions who, notwithstanding my respect for the current incumbent, have refused to engage with WASPI women and sit around a table to hear what hardship is like in real life.