Theresa May faces fresh backbench revolt on fairer pensions deal for women

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.”

So what do you think?

Tell us in the comments.

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15 thoughts on “Theresa May faces fresh backbench revolt on fairer pensions deal for women

  1. It’s disgusting that Theresa May keeps stating that no women are waiting longer than 18mths longer for their Pension whereas we are waiting 6 years !!!!. How can she be so ignorant to the facts and most of us had as little as 1- 2 yrs notice with no chance of making provision for other choices to ensure we had money to survive a further 6 years after expected retirement. I have paid 45 yrs N I contributions and have been left in a very poor situation

    1. She’s not ignorant, she’s doing what the Tories always do – blatantly lying to rest of the population in order to divide and rule. She has to do her best to convince the rest of the electorate that they are being fair and nobody is really affected (just like with the cuts to disabled benefits, nobody is committing suicide, apparently). This is backfiring on the Tories spectacularly, in this constituency the Tory MP lost his seat in the last election. There are over 2000 women affected by this and his majority was smaller than that figure.

  2. It’s disgusting that Theresa May keeps stating that no women are waiting longer than 18 mths for their St Pension whereas we are actually waiting 6 years!!! How can she be so ignorant to the facts?! I don’t believe she is. It is just another ploy to confuse us/lie to her naive voters and those in her party. Most of us had no notice and certainly no letter so, no chance of making provision for other choices to ensure we had money to survive a further 6 years after expected retirement. This Govn took our NIC’s for years and then, changed the goal posts. I think that would be classed as fraud in the private pensions sector. AGENDA!! No words.

  3. I have to wait six years , my husband and I had such plans , I was retiring before him now he’s retiring before me. We planned to move when I was sixty, not possible now as have to stay near works. I am 61 . And running a round 8 hours a day .Bad health due to operation hip worn out shoulder worn out all very pain full. A pension would have given us choice, to cut back our hours for women struggling or finish work. Three years would have been better. But to say 62 then 65 then 66. Try handing a c.v for a job see 6o odd on your c.v it’s straight in the bin. What ever did we do apart from being born in the fifties to deserve this.we just worked hard all our life’s.

  4. Done all that was asked of me, paid my dues and more. Quite simply…. we were not given the 10-15 years notice to allow us to make plans. Everyone else is entitled to this notice, it’s reasonable, so why is this small cohort of women being treated differently? The only unsolicited correspondence I have received from DWP was in 2012, telling me my SPA was 65 1/2 yrs, previously a requested statement said 64 yrs and they didn’t expect it to change. How can you prepare for retirement when the Govt keeps pushing changes through “ under the radar”? They didn’t inform us! I don’t read The Times.Thank you to all who take the time to understand the real issue here, we have paid in and deserve fair treatment. I have less than £100 per month from NHS Pension& am “kept by my husband even though I paid my taxes, NI etc., I can’t claim anything, I’m laid up after an operation, I need another. How do I get a job right now? I’m a lucky one, some ladies can’t afford to keep warm, are suicidal, in debt! We worked in a time of inequality, sacrificed to bring up the next generation, worked extra through 14% interest rates, cared for family and elderly parents. A few are lucky, have good health, a good job & choose to carry on working. That should be a choice. Just because I was born between Dec 53 and Nov 54, I have had 18 months added onto the 64 SPA, no other reason, just a date they chose. There were other options but they chose this harsh & unfair way to increase the SPA. Ask Steve Webb and Baroness Bakewell, they know the truth. Any plans I had for retirement are on hold, any savings will be used up. I, along with lots of other women feel very cheated and angry. 100 years on women are still fighting for for a fair deal.

    1. I totally agree with PJ Shillito. Everything that she says is true as I am also one of the women born between December 1953 and November 1954, as is my childhood friend as well.
      When interest rates were 15% , I had 2 jobs to help to pay the mortgage as my husband couldn’t pay it on his wage. Also I have 43 years NI contributions paid to the state. I no longer work as I have had breast cancer just like my childhood friend has had breast cancer as well.
      Come on the government you are supposed to be looking after your citizens.

  5. Outrageous! 3.8 million women affected and 6 years NOT 18 months. Lies and more lies always from Ms May. This whole pension robbery was caused by utter mismanagement, nothing to do with equalisation of pensions with men. The 1950s have been cheated in the worst injustice this century against women. Given no notice, millions unable to get work due to advanced age, many caring for elderly or in voluntary. George Osborne stole the money and gloated about it. The Pensions Minister Stephen Webb said “We made a bad decision. We got it wrong”. There is not a decent person alive who cannot see that this is outright injustice. DWP websites still giving wrong information in 2016. And will an already dodgy Ombudsman system sort this out. Cheaper for the Government to do it now. Compensation for all 1950s women from 60 to their retirement age for what they should have had. The rest of Europe is digusted by this debacle and there are 3.8 million women with partners, husbands, daughters and sons. A lot of people to vote against this Government unless they do something fast.

  6. Only received a letter 2 and half years before I reached 60, not long enough to make alternative arrangements, my husband is 8 yrs older than me, he is an HGV drIver, who is doing a very stressful job at 68 because we can’t afford for him to retire, because I only work 11hrs per week, I work in retail, and even these 2 days are very tiring and stressful, I hope the 37 tory MP’S manage to force the govt into a rethink, as there is local elections coming up in May, and I think many angry 50’s women will take their revenge at the polls

  7. Maybe if Mrs may listen to some of the waspi women and how we are struggling to work for up to an extra 6 years before we get a STATE pension due to the work some of us have done since we were 15 which has had a impact on not just on our health but also financial she might understand we women were and are the backbone of this country we are only asking for what was ours in the first place I for one have paid in 46 years ni contributions and i am still having to work plus look after my husband who is getting over skin cancer and support my daughter who is disabled plus my 3 grandchikdren so if I had my state pension I could be spending more time with my family.

  8. I’ve just turned 60 and was looking forward to retiring with my husband I cannot put in words how angry I am about this present pathetic government stealing of us 50s ladies they do not live in the real world didn’t Mrs May do her maths lessons at school we are having to wait 6 yrs not 18 mths which she keeps repeating how boring and mind blowing they are this needs to go to court as soon as possible another very angry 50s lady who has been robbed off this foul government

  9. It was a surprise not to see the trolls replying that women wanted equality and were not happy if the equality didn’t suit them, so I will get in first with my view point. Most women do want equality with men but there is nothing equal about the cohert of women denied they’re pensions and robbed of over £40,000. These women were not born into the equal world we see today. They were expected to keep house, cook, clean, have and bring up the children. It was seen as they’re role in life. Many of them were persuaded to pay the married woman’s stamp which today, despite the fact it was paid, is totally worthless. All of them were paid less than their male counterparts. They were denied certain positions because they were women of child bearing age or they had children under school age and this might cause problems as it would be them taking time off. Remember nurseries were practically non existent to ordinary people, only the rich could afford the fees. Child minders were the woman next door who would take your child if she wasn’t doing something else . They did not have paid nursery or child care, if they had to go back to work they had to pay out of they’re own meagre pocket.
    Equality was denied this cohort of women at birth and the government, although knowing this, are denying them they’re pensions now, all in the name of equality.

  10. Please let us retire with dignity

    – A poem for ladies born in the 1950’s and forced to work 6 more years before they can claim their State/Private Pensions by Hazel Bell

    We’ve worked from age 15 and paid in the pot.
    Retiring at 60, then told “No you’re not”
    Its now 65 ladies, equality you know!
    That was bad enough, but there was another blow.
    Along came the shocker, the goal posts were changed!
    Its 66 now with no financial plans arranged.
    Retirement dreams have been put on hold
    but, will we get there or just be too old?
    We will miss out on thousands of pounds and we’re tired
    most of our friends have already retired
    We didn’t have Uni’s, gap years and such,
    we got stuck into work and weren’t paid very much.
    No chance of promotion, no chance of success,
    you got married, had children, that’s all more or less.
    No equality then, we all knew our place.
    It was mostly the men who ruled the top space.
    Most us went back to work when we could
    to help with our families as we thought we should.
    So now who will look after the aged “P’s”
    and babysit grandkids and have them for teas?
    Will there be strangers coming to care
    and nursery bills for the children out there?
    Who will sit with the babies and play,
    while their mums and dads are at work all day?
    Nana’s and Grandmas will be worked to the end
    no leisure time, relaxing with money to spend.
    Companies are forced to employ tired and old
    and young people feeling left out in the cold.
    Money is not just the main crux of this,
    its 6 years been stolen – 6 years freedom we’ll miss!
    The injustice is obvious, its cruel and unfair.
    No jobs for the young ones … does nobody care?

  11. I was born July 1954 / school until July 1969 / I started work week after when I turned 15
    I signed a form when i married in 1976 to pay national insurance and tax from then on expecting to retire at 60 and have always paid full stamp.
    The first I heard of the changes to retirement age was March 2011 (when i was 56 years and 7 months old) and that was from a work colleague who was a couple of months older than me, she told me i could go online and get my detailed profile from directgov.

    MY online Profile March 2011 gave me a new state pension age of 64 years and 4 months, qualifying date on 6th of November 2018 ( 4 years and 4 months added to my expected age of 60)
    Only a year later April 4th 2012, i received a letter from the Pension service at DWP adding another 1 YEAR AND 5 MONTHS!!! THAT’S 5 YEARS AND 9 MONTHS ADDED ON !!! Quite a shock when i thought i only had about 3 more years to work.

    April 2012 onward, living as a single women ~~~
    I continued on with my job, having to go for cortisone injections in both my wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome until I was informed early 2014 that i couldn’t have any more of the injections (there is a limit of how many times you can have them) I had to go for a decompression of carpal tunnel operation. this I had done end of March 2014 and was off work more than 2 months, meanwhile at work (we’d had a new manager who started in 2013) implemented a new system so that when i returned in early June 2014 i was expected to catch up with intensive training on this new system and higher targets to meet. I tried hard to do this and being just a few weeks away from my 60th birthday, it was difficult to retrain my hands to do things differently on a complicated new system with its own teething problems.
    Just days after my 60th birthday I was put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) this resulted in me being notified of a disciplinary hearing for not reaching the higher target. I was fortunate to win my case due to the time off following the carpal tunnel op and missing out on 10 weeks training that my colleagues had received in that time i was off so it was unreasonable to expect me to be up to their standard in just a couple of months back.
    Since then it has been quite difficult keep reaching ever increasing targets, i have had a stressful 3 years at work since I turned 60 so i took redundancy last year.
    The redundancy has paid my way for 4 months, Then when I should be entitled to JSA but found out that is not an option because i am in a Universal Credit roll out area so i am having to claim Universal Credits instead.

    I don’t feel fit or fast enough to be out there competing with younger people for jobs anymore.
    I should be on state pension as I’m 63 years and 10 months old not universal credit which is very degrading for someone who has worked most of my life and brought up my family.

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