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Women’s State Pension Age: Additional Support

Volume 721: debated on Monday 31 October 2022

9. If he will take steps to provide additional support during winter 2022-23 to women affected by the rise in state pension age. (901918)

Members across the House will have appreciated the sense of grievance and injustice from women born in the 1950s who were not given proper notice of the rise in the state pension age. The ombudsman has recognised this as maladministration, the right hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson), when he was the Prime Minister and leading the campaign in the 2019 general election, said he would address this matter. Since then, more of those women are now living in poverty and 200,000 of them have died, yet not a single Minister has met them since 2016. Is the Minister willing to meet a delegation from the WASPI campaign to talk about their plight and find a way forward?

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his question and understand where he is coming from, but there is an ongoing investigation so it would be inappropriate for me to meet people at this stage.

The Minister knows that in July 2021 the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found the DWP guilty of maladministration regarding state pension age increases. The PHSO also suggested that the Department could consider being proactive in remedying the injustice suffered by 3.8 million women, rather than waiting for its final conclusions. Given the ongoing cost of living crisis, does the Minister agree that now is the time for the Government to step up to the plate and agree fair and swift compensation for the women suffering that injustice?

I am sorry to disappoint the hon. Gentleman but I must repeat that I cannot comment where there is an ongoing investigation.