Labour Shadow Cabinet Welcomes Liz Kendall and Gill Furniss A Beacon of Hope for WASPI Women. The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign emerged with a mission to secure equitable compensation for millions of women who were severely affected by abrupt changes to their State Pension eligibility, leaving them with scant notice.
Seeking Support from Kier Starmer Shadow Cabinet
Women born in the 1950s, united under the banner of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), are now turning to Kier Starmer’s recently appointed Shadow Cabinet for enhanced assistance.
The WASPI campaign arose to rectify the injustices faced by countless women, who received only a few months’ notice about a six-year delay in their State Pension eligibility. Shockingly, these alterations, legislated in 1995, were not effectively communicated to the affected women. As a result, 2 in 5 of these women discovered they would not receive their pension at age 60 after already retiring or reducing their working hours.
Previous Labour Involvement
The prior Labour Work and Pensions team showed reluctance in engaging with their Treasury counterparts to discuss compensation for WASPI women. The campaign’s chair, Angela Madden, criticized the former Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, for redirecting the campaign back to the Shadow Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) team, creating a perplexing bureaucratic loop.
New Appointments Bring Hope
The WASPI campaign warmly welcomes the appointments of Liz Kendall as Shadow DWP Secretary and Gill Furniss as Shadow Minister for Pensions. Both have a track record of supporting the campaign, participating in events, and sharing videos on social media.
Campaign’s Request for Meeting
The campaign has reached out to these newly appointed shadow ministers, requesting a meeting to discuss the progress of the campaign and the injustices endured by 3.6 million women due to Department for Work and Pensions failures.
The gravity of the situation is reflected in the statistics:
- Three in five women had already ceased working or reduced their hours upon learning of the increased State Pension age.
- One in four had faced difficulties in purchasing food and basic necessities within the past six months.
- One in three is currently grappling with debt.
Lives Lost and Prolonged Investigation
Tragically, more than 250,000 affected women have passed away since the campaign’s inception in 2015, with one woman dying every 13 minutes. Despite nearly five years of investigation by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman into “maladministration” by the Department for Work and Pensions, no ruling on owed compensation has been made.
Urgent Appeal for Justice
Campaigners are urging the government to address this issue promptly, without awaiting further reports, emphasizing that “justice delayed is truly justice denied.”
Hope for a Resolution Under a Starmer Government
Angela Madden, Chair of the WASPI campaign, expressed a deep personal connection to the cause under a Starmer government and hopes for a resolution. She emphasizes the importance of shadow ministers meeting with the campaign to understand their case and make commitments.
Expectations from New Shadow Ministers
Madden and the campaign welcome the new frontbench appointments and anticipate heightened support, emphasizing that it is now a critical moment for action.
Musical Support for WASPI Cause
Coinciding with these developments, a new campaign song has been released, with its proceeds contributing to the campaign’s funding. The song has received significant airtime on national and regional radio. Download the song here.
The appointment of Liz Kendall and Gill Furniss to the Labour Shadow Cabinet brings renewed hope to WASPI women, who are seeking justice and compensation for the hardships they have endured. The campaign’s perseverance and the support of these new shadow ministers may finally lead to a resolution for these women who have faced years of uncertainty and financial struggle.
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