Barbara with WASPI women
Barbara with WASPI women

On Thursday 3rd October at the High Court in London campaigners lost a legal battle against the Government’s handling of the rise in the state pension age for more than 3 million women.

The application to the court argued that the equalisation of the pension ages was discriminatory and that the taper mechanism used to raise the State Pension Age was inadequate and was combined with a failure to inform women of the changes properly.

Michael Mansfield QC, who represented the women affected, said:

They have pushed women who were already disadvantaged into the lowest class you can imagine. They’re on the brink of survival, and I’m not overstating that. This group – especially the percentage of the group affected born in 1953 onwards – are increasingly having taken away from them four to six years’ worth of state pension. We’re dealing with very serious sums: £37,000 to £47,000. I think any citizen would be concerned by that withdrawal.”

Since Barbara discovered the impact of the acceleration of changes to the State Pension Age on women born in the 1950s she has been committed to supporting this cause.

Barbara was one of the first MPs in the country to campaign with women to fight against these unjust changes to the State Pension Age for them. She stood with a group of 1950s-born women in the carpark at Morrison’s in Eccles raising awareness among the women it affected and collecting signatures for our petition calling on the Conservative Government to stop this unfair and sudden change to the State Pension Age for 1950s-born women.

Barbara opened the very first Parliamentary debate on this issue and has spoken in many debates since to support the campaign

Barbara co-founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women with Andrew Gwynne and over 120 MPs joined on the first day. Andrew and Barbara were then elected as the first Co-Chairs of this group.

Barbara has taken other action in support in Parliament, including presenting paper petitions from 100 constituencies when MPs organised a mass hand-in of petitions.

Barbara has many constituents who are 1950s-born women affected by the Pensions Injustice and she has raised their issues in Parliament and in meetings with Government Ministers.

Barbara says:

“I am disappointed by the outcome of this case and I am so sorry for the millions of women who have lost out on the pensions that they have earned and that they deserve.

“For many years, 1950s-born women have been disadvantaged in terms of pay and pensions. They deserve better after a lifetime of work and paying into the system. They deserve proper consideration for that lifetime of work and their National Insurance contributions.

“I am committed to continuing to support the campaign until we get Pensions Justice for 1950s-born women.”

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