Rachael Maskell in Westminster
Rachael Maskell in Westminster

Last week, (14 December 2017) Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, spoke out to back WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) Women in a Parliamentary debate on Pension Equality.

Ms Maskell has long been involved in supporting the WASPI campaign set up to fight the injustice done to all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law.

Many women born on or after 6th April 1951 have been unfairly hit by the increase in the state pension age. Due to a lack of information many have been entirely unaware of the changes, leaving them without adequate support, or time to put their own arrangements in place.

Last year, Ms Maskell joined local WASPI Women to collect signatures for a mass petition to Parliament calling on the Government to act in the interest of fairness and to introduce transitional pension arrangements to ensure that any changes are implemented in a fair way.

Ms Maskell used the debate to highlight how the evidence shows that the impact of increasing the pension age has a disproportionate effect on women, who throughout their lives earn less than men and are more likely to end up living in poverty. Figures show that pensioner poverty has nearly doubled for the women who have been affected by these unfair pension changes.

Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central says:
“After sustained campaigning alongside local women, handing in a mass petition to the Government and speaking out for transitional pension arrangements, this debate was a great opportunity to voice the concerns of many York women in Parliament.

My mail bag has been full of letters from women sharing their experiences of the detrimental impact these changes are having. The lack of information from the Government has meant that many have been left without adequate time to make adjustments, which is causing real hardship and in some cases, has completely devastated retirement plans.

There are many factors that have already left many women of this generation less well off than their male counterparts. From taking time out from work to look after children, caring for elderly relatives, or being employed in precarious part-time work, the facts show that many women are already economically disadvantaged and are continuing to be let down.

Women over the age of 50 have felt the full force of the spending cuts ushered in by the Coalition Government in 2010 and we know that among the WASPI women, pensioner poverty has increased from 12% to 21%.

After sustained pressure, it has now been agreed that the Government should publish proposals to provide a non-means tested bridging solution to ease the burden many women are now facing. Women in York and across the country deserve fairness and I will continue to fight until this Government acts in the interest of everyone and rectifies this gross injustice.”

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