Its first target of £50,000 was reached within 24 hours and, with 10 days of fundraising still to run, WASPI has now asked CrowdJustice to close the appeal at £100,000.
With the funding already making its way to Bindmans, the top London law firm representing the Official WASPI Campaign, Jane Cowley, Fundraising Director said: “Women Against State Pension Inequality Ltd wants to thank each and every person who has donated to the fund. It’s inspiring to know that we have such a huge level of support and a real validation of our decision to pursue a legal case”.
WASPI is protesting about the way changes were made to women’s state pension ages in the 1995 and 2011 Pensions Acts. The changes were made to equalise men's and women's pension ages and WASPI supports this goal.
The Campaign is fighting for recognition and recompense for the unfair and discriminatory way the changes were implemented – with wholly inadequate engagement and with no proper time given to make alternative plans. WASPI estimates that 1950s women have lost up to £40,000 due to the changes and many are now in financial hardship.
The campaign now plans to use the funding to pursue one or more legal challenges to the government. WASPI’s lawyers have identified two potential means of legal redress for women affected by the changes to the State Pension Age:
- a judicial review challenge (or challenges) to the legality of the changes themselves;
- maladministration complaints regarding the wholly inadequate engagement undertaken by the Department of Work and Pensions regarding these changes.
Alongside its legal campaign, WASPI continues to engage with politicians from all parties. Its leaders recently met with MPs from the Scottish National Party and discussed with Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Ministers how the Labour Party could support the WASPI cause.
WASPI’s many local groups are making themselves heard in Tory marginal seats up and down the country and there is a growing awareness that 2.6 million 1950s women’s votes could make a big difference at the next election.
With two former Pensions Ministers, Steve Webb and Baroness Altmann now publicly pledging their support, with over 47,500 people following the Official WASPI Facebook page and with £100,000 fighting fund raised in less than three weeks, WASPI is a force to be reckoned with.