Local MSP Jackie Baillie challenged the Chancellor to commit £80 million to the WASPI women in Scotland who will lose out because of Tory changes to their state pension age.
The government’s changes have affected 2.6 million women in the UK, who would have retired under the 1995 Pensions Act.
Under Labour’s plan, Pension Credit will be extended to those who were due to retire before the chaotic pension age increase of the Conservative-led Coalition Government. This would alleviate the worst of the impacts for the most vulnerable women, and restore some of the dignity many of them feel they have been robbed of.
It is estimated that Scotland’s share of this cost would be £80 million, paid for by the UK Government.
Scottish Labour’s 2016 manifesto included a pledge to use the new welfare powers of the Scottish Parliament to support WASPI women. This pledge was not supported by the SNP.
“Thousands of women born in the 1950s have been left facing real financial difficulty because of the lack of notice given by the Tory government about changes to the state pension. Women in Scotland should not have to bear the brunt of Tory mismanagement.
“The Labour Party is calling on the UK Government to implement these plans in the Autumn Statement, to give vulnerable women in Scotland and right across the UK some stability until their delayed state pension is available. The concession would operate for affected women up to 2022 and cost £80 million for Scotland.
“Labour is also developing solutions for those affected who would not be entitled to means-tested Pension Credit under these proposals. It is, however, vital that action takes place now, to end the hardship faced by women who have worked all their lives, but find that they cannot retire as planned.
“Ahead of the 2016 election Labour campaigned to use the social security powers of the Scottish Parliament to support some of the WASPI women who were losing out because of the Tories. I urge all political parties to now back our call for the Chancellor to use the Autumn Statement to go some way to righting the wrong of these shambolic pension chang