Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2024

WASPI chief issues devastating 11-word response to Work and Pensions Secretary | Personal Finance | Finance

WASPI campaigners have voiced their frustration after pensions minister Mel Stride refused to commit to Government action on the issue.

The Work and Pensions Secretary was asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain if there will be a decision soon on whether or not to provide WASPI state pensioners the help they are demanding.

The senior politician said: “There’ll be no undue delay in us coming forward, but I do want to have sufficient time. There are very strong feelings about this on all sides of the argument as to whether conversation should be paid or not.

“And I do want to make sure that we get that judgment right.”

Asked whether there would be a decision before the General Election, Mr Stride said: “I’m not going to be drawn into a specific timeframe.”

Angela Madden, chair of the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign, was disappointed with the minister’s update, issuing a devastating 11-word response, saying: “Rarely has anyone spoken at such length whilst saying so little.”

She urged the Government to act on the issue, adding: “Whilst Mr Stride can’t be ‘tied down to a specific moment in time’ to deliver the answers we desperately need, another WASPI woman dies every 13 minutes.

“The Ombudsman instructed Parliament to help deliver compensation, and so the Government must make time for MPs to debate and vote on any proposals they come up with.

“There is no more time left for delay. With more than 200,000 people signing an open letter to the Leader of the Commons to demand a vote in Parliament, the Government must commit to fair and fast compensation now and give MPs a vote after recess.”

A recent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman report recommended WASPI state pensioners should get compensation between £1,000 and £2,950. The report called on Parliament to take up the issue.

More than 160,000 people have calling for Parliament to be given a vote on providing compensation for those affected.

Frances Neil, South East Essex Co-coordinator for WASPI, said the campaigners are getting in touch with individual MPs to encourage them to lend their support.

She told : “Co-ordinators of groups across the country are making sure that our members know about the open letter, and making sure they know they should be seeking support from their MPs.

“We’re also talking to parliamentary candidates where we know that they are as yet, so we can get in on the ground floor should there be a quick election.”

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