State Pension Changes (Compensation for Women)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Michelle Ballantyne Michelle Ballantyne Conservative

I do not have time; I have only four minutes.

The secretary of state said that the DWP has found that there are

“substantial practical, financial and legal problems to all alternative options that have been suggested.”—[

Official Report

,

House of Commons

, 17 December 2018; Vol 651, c 6P.]

Perhaps the greatest barrier to mitigation is that reversing the 2011 state pension age changes would cost more than £30 billion up to the end of 2025-26, while returning to a female state pension age of 60 would cost more than £77 billion by 2020-21.

There are also legal issues to be considered here. There is a high risk that, if the UK Government was to acquiesce to calls for a bridging pension, it would find itself in contravention of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which insists on parity between men and women when it comes to pay—and, after all, that was the initial purpose of the change. Such a move might also bring the UK into conflict with European Union law, and particularly the ECJ decision that sparked the process of pension equalising across Europe. [

Interruption

.] You support European law