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

Interestingly, if the

Scottish Government was at last to ratify CEDAW—it is disappointing that it has not done so—it could find itself bound by the same legal constraints and be unable to reverse or mitigate the changes for the risk of falling foul of equalities discrimination. I note that there have been conversations about that and, in the meeting that I went to, the cabinet secretary at the time was quick to say that Scotland could not afford to support the changes and would fall foul of the law if it did so.

Personally, I think that it is important that we wait for the result of the case that has been brought to the High Court. The Department for Work and Pensions has temporarily suspended action on state pension age matters until the judicial review is complete, and I think that the results of that legal action will provide us with a useful litmus test on which options the Government should pursue. Bearing that in mind, I think that it is clear that the UK Government will not make a decision until that review has gone through the courts, and that should be considered in any calls to action. Although I recognise the issue, I think that, if we are going to act on behalf of the women effectively, we need to wait until the court case has gone through and then look at the issue in the light of what is said.