Jeremy Corbyn pledged his support for women who have been ‘robbed’ of their state pension when he visited Derbyshire.
During an event at Renishaw Miners’ Welfare on Monday, the Labour leader said his party would compensate so-called ‘Waspi women’ with pay-outs of up to £31,000 if it wins next month’s General Election.
The plight of the 3.7 million Waspi women, who claim they were not properly alerted to a rise in the pension age from 60 to 65 (and to 66 in 2020), has been highlighted by the Derbyshire Times on a number of occasions.
Chris Peace, Labour’s candidate for North East Derbyshire, said: “I have worked closely with these women born in the 1950s to campaign to get this pension injustice changed.
“I have listened to many upsetting stories from women who have been forced into poverty and suffered terrible stress and anxiety as a result.
“We owe them a debt of honour for this historical wrong and a Labour Government will change the law to ensure this kind of injustice can never happen again.”
Mr Corbyn said: “One of the greatest injustices has been for the women born in the 1950s who had their increase in the pension age accelerated without proper notice.
“We will correct this injustice and return the money stolen from them.
“Labour will borrow to right this wrong – it is a moral debt we owe.”
However, Paul Johnson, the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, criticised the proposal.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Johnson said the policy’s estimated cost of £58billion was ‘a very, very large sum of money indeed’.
This was echoed by Conservative minister Nicky Morgan, who told the BBC ‘there isn’t the money available’ to compensate the Waspi women.
A spokesperson for the North Derbyshire Waspi group said: “Waspi women represent eight per cent of the electorate and we hope to see similar announcements reflected in upcoming campaign pledges.”