Sadly for him, it’s clear from the response on social media that this statement has only served to stiffen the resolve and determination of WASPI women to continue their fight for a fair resolution to the pensions debacle.
In fact, the government must now begin to see how isolated it is becoming on this issue. Over 30 local and county councils have passed resolutions in support of WASPI, often with Conservative councillors voting in favour too. Many Conservative MPs have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group and WASPI local groups continue to work hard to persuade other Tory MPs to support the campaign.
We recently saw the Scottish National Party launch a piece of research they had commissioned regarding the costs of making fair pension arrangements for 1950s women. This was aimed only at putting right the failings of the 2011 Pensions Act, and thus fell short of the aim of the WASPI campaign, which is for a fair outcome for all women affected by both the 1995 and 2011 Acts. However, it was a useful first step in showing the Government that, despite their statements to the contrary, money is available in the National Insurance Fund for 1950s women’s pensions and that they have been mistaken in their calculations as to how much various solutions could cost.
The number of local WASPI groups continues to grow and they are making a very positive difference to the impact and reach of the campaign. Women out and about on the National Day of Local Action on the 16th September received thousands of signatures for a petition which was handed in to Parliament on the 11th October and they continue to raise awareness through a whole range of different local initiatives.
WASPI has chosen Bindmans to represent them in pursuing a legal challenge, funded via our
Building the new Strategy Group is nearly complete, and again, more information about the structure and format of the group will be with you in the near future.
Letters to to the DWP are continuing, with a view to making a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman once the DWP’s complaint procedure is exhausted. Legal advice is being sought before the next letter in the series is sent, to ensure that all the bases are covered properly.
These are exciting times for the WASPI campaign. WASPI is the only campaigning group which supports all 1950s women, whatever their date of birth. Perhaps because of this, the number of our supporters is growing every week and we now have just short of over 47,000 people following the Facebook page: far more than any other group.