Long running supporter of the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign, Stephen Morgan MP, has today written to the Work and Pensions Secretary urging swift action to help women born in the 1950s suffering at the hands of the pandemic.
The WASPI movement campaigns against the way the state pension age for men and women was equalised. Prior to the pandemic, millions of 1950s women had been made worse off, some losing up to £47,000. Reports are suggesting that these women are now being disproportionately hit by the impacts of Covid-19.
Writing directly the Secretary of State after listening to local concerns, Mr Morgan has raised that women affected are facing increased loss of earnings, trouble with Universal Credit and gaps in government support before he outlined potential solutions.
Stephen Morgan MP said: “This is the generation of women that rebuilt Britain, it is unacceptable that they are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19. They suffered injustice prior to the pandemic, it is not right that they continue to have support refused.
Some face a loss of earnings as cleaners and exam invigilators whose ‘top up’ income has now dried up. Others are self-employed and have fallen through gaps in government support.
That is why I have written to directly the Work and Pensions Secretary requesting government explores the early payment of Pension Credit and State Pension to those effected.”
Shelagh Simmons from Solent WASPI said: “Government implemented legislation that has caused severe financial turmoil for millions of 1950s women. Now we are asking them to provide emergency support during this pandemic
Early access to Pension Credit and State Pension will go some way to alleviate the pressures faced, and we are grateful to Stephen Morgan MP for taking action and asking the Government to make an assessment of these requests.”
Evidence suggests that many 1950s women work in the gig economy. The sector least supported by government Covid-19 schemes. This, coupled low incomes undermining eligibility for universal credit, is resulting in severe loss of earnings for WASPI women.
The city MP has urged the government to assess the impacts of Pension Credit, which could offer immediate financial relief to those affected. While early access to State Pension has the potential to boost disposable income, likely to give a welcome kick to the economy as Britain gets on the road to recovery.
Stephen Morgan MP added: “I have been working closely with WASPI women for some time. I am committed to continuing to engage with them through this pandemic and beyond.
It is important that no one is left behind, particularly in a crisis, and that government is aware of the fact that there are gaps in the support they are offering.”