Theresa May faces new revolt as furious Tory MPs demand she helps women ‘robbed’ of their state pension
The Prime Minister’s own backbenchers lined up to demand justice for 2.6million ‘WASPI’ women in a heated Commons debate
Theresa May faced a new revolt today as Tory MPs demanded justice for millions of women “robbed” of their state pension.
Conservative MPs said they are looking to the Prime Minister and Chancellor Philip Hammond to give an early signal that they will rethink the rules for two million women told they must work an extra six years before retiring.
It comes on top of rebellions against the public sector pay cap, cuts in free school meals and school funding that have all forced ministers to promise changes in policy.
Potential rebels will use a Labour-led debate in Westminster Hall today to send a signal through the whips that they are serious. The issue could easily see the Government crushed if it is pushed to a vote in the Commons.
Some 37 Conservative MPs expressed support for the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) before the general election, including former children’s minister Tim Loughton and ex-Tory chairman Caroline Spelman.
Embarrassingly for the Government, backers of WASPI even include Peter Heaton-Jones, who is the PPS, or Commons aide, to new Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke. Mrs May’s partners in a confidence and supply deal to pass key votes, the Democratic Unionist Party, are also in favour, as are the Scottish Nationalists.
Government officials estimate the cost of letting the women retire at 60, as many planned to do, at £2.3 billion. Campaigners think a compromise could cost about £750 million.
Senior Tory backbencher Keith Simpson said his wife was among the women who were affected, adding: “There’s no doubt in my mind that we have a group of very very angry women who feel they have paid their taxes, worked hard and been cheated.” He plans to intervene during the debate to complain about the poor quality of information given to women on official websites — a move that is bound to get the attention of Government whips.
Former minister Sir Peter Bottomley said: “Everyone knows that a particular group of women were particularly disadvantaged. There’s a strong view in Parliament that something more needs to be done.”
Labour’s shadow pensions minister Alex Cunningham, who is opening this afternoon’s debate, urged all Conservatives who backed WASPI to join the revolt.
He said: “There are 37 MPs on the Government benches who have supported the WASPI campaign — enough to provide a majority in the House of those who want to see action taken to alleviate the difficulty faced by the most vulnerable men and women.”
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Source : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-faces-new-revolt-furious-10743247
Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-may-faces-fresh-backbench-revolt-on-fairer-pensions-deal-for-women-a3580336.html