Ritchie Says Autumn Statement Should Figure Transitional Payments For WASPI

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South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has called on UK Chancellor Philip Hammond to use the Autumn Statement to introduce fair transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950’s affected by the acceleration of the state pension age.

Speaking after a Westminster Hall debate on WASPI, Ms Ritchie said: “Thousands of women, including many in Northern Ireland, have been left with insufficient time to prepare for a major change in their financial situation because of governments’ failure to inform them of changes to the state pension age.

South Down MP Margaret Ritchie on Cromwell Green with other MP's and women from the WASPI campaign.
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, fifth left.  on Cromwell Green at Westminster with other MP’s and women from the WASPI campaign.

“They are now expected to work for longer for a smaller pension than they had expected and for which they had planned . This is an intolerable situation that must be remedied.”

“The WASPI women are not opposed to the equalisation of the pension age nor are they arguing that it should be reversed. Instead they are rightly protesting that the speed and the government’s failure to make women aware of it makes it imperative that fair transitional arrangements are put in place.

“By now, it should be clear to the government that the WASPI campaign will not go away quietly. They have led a powerful and well-organised campaign that has attracted significant cross-party support in the Commons and across the devolved parliaments.

“This is the fifth time this year that I have spoken about the WASPI campaign in the Commons and I, along with other MP’s, will continue to put pressure on the Government to ensure these women receive their entitlement.

“The Chancellor should take the opportunity in next week’s Autumn Statement to provide the fair transitional arrangements the WASPI women demand and deserve,” added Ms Ritchie.