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[1st Day]

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 4:20 pm on 21st June 2017.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 4:20 pm, 21st June 2017

I thank my friend for that intervention, and I agree with him. There is unfinished business, certainly for me, having been the pensions spokesman for the SNP in the last Parliament. We will not leave the WASPI women without a voice. It is utterly disgraceful that some of the worst-affected women were given 14 months’ written notice of an increase in their pensionable age. I have said before that, in this ridiculous situation, a woman born in February 1953 would have retired in January 2016 just shy of her 63rd birthday, but a woman born in February 1964 will not retire until July 2019, when she will be 65 and a half.

Quite simply, a two-and-a-half-year increase in a woman’s pensionable age over a one-year period is unacceptable. Cridland identified in his review of the state pension age that we should not be looking at an increase in pensionable age of more than one year in every 10 years. As I have often pointed out to the Government, there is a very easy solution, which is to reverse the Pensions Act 2011. The cost of doing so would be £8 billion, which is easily affordable given that there is a surplus of £30 billion in the national insurance fund.