Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2024

‘I’m a WASPI state pensioner – here’s my big problem with the Spring Budget’ | Personal Finance | Finance

A WASPI generation state pensioner who has just started claiming her state pension is being forced to continue working full time to make ends meet.

Linda Southall, 66, from said she was disappointed there was no help for pensioners in the Spring Budget this week.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt decided to cut National Insurance by 2p but this will not affect those of state pension age, while he left income tax at its current rates.

Linda works 37.5 hours a week in a physically demanding job as a cleaner on a construction site. told : “I expected some tax relief. There was nothing for pensioners, nothing at all.

“I don’t qualify for anything else. If I was just on the state pension, I would probably be able to get the council tax reduction and Pension Credit.

“I fall in that position where I’ve got a tiny civil service pension, it’s only £145, but it just takes me over, so I can’t get tax credits.”

As she works on a contract basis, she doesn’t get paid if she takes time off work for being ill or going on holiday she doesn’t get paid.

She said: “I haven’t got a mortgage, I’ve got a tiny house that I own outright, but I still find that I can’t make ends meet.

“I’m going to have to continue working as long as I’m physically able to do so.”

She was hoping to retire when she was 60 but she was affected when the state pension age was significantly increased for women from 60 to 65, and then to 66.

The WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign is calling for compensation for the generation of women affected by this issue.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has already ruled there was ‘maladministration’ in how the DWP notified people of the change, and the ombudsman is now considering if compensation should be given to women like Linda.

Linda gets the full new state pension, of £203.85 a week, but she said she needs another £150 a week on top of this just to cover her bills.

She has trimmed back her costs as much as she can, and avoids putting the heating on at home, using blankets and pyjamas to stay warm.

She said: “I find the past year I’ve struggled. 65 was alright, but at 66, you think ‘This is crazy’.

“When we did get some sort of relief. I’ve never claimed dole in my life. It’s not really a big reward for working all your life.

“I’ve always worked for agencies so you don’t really accumulate much pension.”

She worked previously in the care sector for most of her life but decided to leave the profession after seeing the impact of coronavirus.

Linda used AI-powered savings tool to see if she could reduce her household costs. Greg Marsh, consumer champion at Nous, said: “Despite the Government’s attempts to paint a rosy economic picture ahead of a General Election, the cost-of-living crisis is still here – and causing serious hardship.

Jeremy Hunt should be taking urgent action to tackle the soaring levels of debt on energy bills. The number of households who owe money to their gas and electricity supplier is the highest ever recorded, and people owe more than £1,000 on average.

“This debt prevents people from shopping around and getting cheaper deals, meaning consumers are at risk of being exploited by suppliers. This isn’t something ministers can continue to ignore.”

For the latest personal finance news, follow us on Twitter at @ExpressMoney_.

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