Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin continues fight against pension changes

Dudley North MP Ian Austin is continuing to campaign for extra support from the Government for Black Country women hit by pension changes.

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Austin joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality for Women, which presented the preliminary results of their consultation with groups representing 1950’s born women affected by changes to the State Pension Age.

The consultation was set up to help identify a solution that will address the ongoing concerns raised by 1950s-born women.  Over 100 groups took part and gave powerful illustrative examples of the difficulties women are facing financially and personally.

The APPG will produce a report outlining the proposals and invite representatives to a meeting in Parliament ahead of the Bill coming up for debate on 27th April 2018.

Government plans will accelerate the pension age for women so that it will reach 66 by 2020, instead of 2026 as originally planned. Campaigners say that the changes have shattered their retirement plans as they have not had time to make new arrangements.

Official House of Commons Library figures show that 68,660 women from the Black Country and Staffordshire born in the 1950s will be affected along with hundreds of thousands more across the country.

Austin has been working with local women and the campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) to campaign against the changes and presented a petition signed by hundreds of local women to Parliament. He has also raised the issue with Government Ministers on behalf of local women on a number of occasions.

WASPI say that the Government’s reforms have been implemented far too quickly, leaving women without the time to prepare. They are now calling for transitional arrangements to be put in place to support women who have unexpectedly found themselves without a pension.

 Ian Austin said

 “Women who have worked hard and contributed should be able to plan for their retirement, but the Government's rapid changes to the pension age have made this impossible.

"This is particularly important in the Black Country where lots of people left school at 15 or 16 and did hard graft, instead of graduating in their mid-20s to start office work.

“Women in the Black Country have done their bit, and that is why the Government should be coming up with proper transitional arrangements so that they can plan properly for their retirement now.”

Carolyn Harris, Vice Chair of the group, said

“The APPG want to thank all the groups for taking the time to participate in the consultation.  We appreciate that many women are worried and struggling financially.  All members of the APPG remain advocates for women who have suffered detriment following changes to the State Pension Age and we are committed to identifying a workable solution for inclusion in our Bill.” 

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