Campaigners in Salford are demanding that the Government takes action to compensate women affected by changes in the state pension age.

Currently, no party has issued a response to Thursday’s report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

The report found that the change to increase the state pension age for women from 60 to 65, was not communicated adequately and those affected should receive compensation.

Image of Judith Robinson

Judith Robertson, founder of the Salford-based Women Against State Pension Inequality group (WASPI), said that she is “delighted” the report has recognised the “maladministration” by the Department for Work & Pensions but takes issue with the suggested level of compensation.

The Ombudsman report has recommended a compensation amount ranging from £1,000 to 2,950 for the ladies who were affected by the change in state pension age.

Judith, 67, from Clifton, said: ” We’re very concerned because when we look at what actually happened to the women involved, £3,000 even at the maximum is not very much money.

“There’s a lot of ladies who’ve gone into severe debt, we’ve got members who’ve lost their homes.

“I have a member who prior to getting her pension was using a foodbank, which for somebody who’s over 60 it’s quite shocking.”

Image of the Salford WASPI group.

In response to the compensation cost which could amount to anything between £3.5 billion and £10.5 billion, the Prime Minister said the Government would look through PHSO’s report “carefully” before providing “a considered and thoughtful response.”

Judith commented: “Yes it is a lot of money that we’re asking for but I’m afraid it’s compensation for something that was done wrong, it’s made a huge, huge financial difference to a lot of women.

“My opinion is that it has struck women who haven’t got a partner who’s able to support them and that’s when it’s gone very wrong for them.”

Since launching the group she’s had multiple comments arguing that the group are ‘hypocrites’ as the change has put them in a position that is equal to men.

Judith said: “I don’t have any objection to being put into a position that is equal to men but you have to tell me in time, you have to give me adequate notice. That’s the big issue they didn’t give adequate notice at all.”

Judith has been running the WASPI group since 2018 and said it’s “been a long hard slog.”

“I think we’re very pleased that at last people taking notice while we’ve been shouting behind the scenes all this time,” Judith added. 

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