Women’s State Pension Age - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:01 pm on 26 March 2024.

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Photo of Lord Dodds of Duncairn Lord Dodds of Duncairn DUP 8:01, 26 March 2024

I thank the Minister for the Statement. On the general issue of the state pension, I warmly welcome the commitment by the Government, through the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the weekend, to the maintenance of the triple lock. It is extremely important that that assurance is given. I remember when we negotiated the confidence and supply agreement with the then Conservative Government, this was one of our central demands and the Government committed to that. I am glad that it remains in place.

On this issue of the WASPI campaign, I congratulate the women and those behind it, who—over many, many years—have brought it to this point. I understand the complexities, I understand it was produced only on Thursday and I understand the need for a considered look at it. Both the Opposition and the Government take that position. But I do worry, along with others, about this continued repetition of “undue delay”. It has been five years, as the Minister indicated, since this was first referred to the ombudsman and many more years that this has been under consideration. Can the Minister give your Lordships’ House some kind of indication of when this is going to come back to Parliament? We know the timescale for the remainder of this Parliament. It might not be that long. We need action as quickly as possible. The women concerned deserve that. The action has to be one that entails a clear commitment to proper compensation.