Philip Hammond MP. Photo credit: NATO Summit Wales 2014 via photopin (license)

The Scottish National Party has described the Chancellor’s Spring Budget as a “dereliction of duty” and criticised him for failing WASPI women (Women Against State Pension Inequality) on International Women’s Day.

SNP MP Ian Blackford, who has been leading the campaign alongside SNP MPs, warned that the UK government’s silence and failure to outline a single measure to tackle state pensions inequality was “deafening”.

Government Ministers Attend Pre-Budget Cabinet

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond (C) and members of his ministerial team pose for a photo with the budget box in front of No. 11 at Downing Street in London, United Kingdom on March 08, 2017. Today’s Budget will be the last one to take place in the spring.

Ian Blackford MP said that the Chancellor’s Budget was yet another signal of a Tory government intent on pursuing a policy of austerity, and turning the other way on the repeated calls and debates led by SNP MPs in delivering justice for women born in the 1950s, seeking to fill the gap left by gross pensions inequality.

Following the Budget, SNP MPs addressed the WASPI campaign’s protest taking place outside Westminster.

Ian Blackford MP, the SNP’s Pensions spokesperson, said: “Today should have been a day to celebrate International Women’s Day, instead SNP MPs are campaigning alongside WASPI campaigners protesting for long overdue justice following a Spring Budget that was nothing short of a dereliction of duty by this Tory government.

“The silence from the Chancellor on state pension inequality as he delivered his Budget was devastatingly deafening for WASPI women campaigning outside the House of Commons.

“The Chancellor had an opportunity today to right a wrong and deliver measures that would give these women their pensions that they have rightfully earned, yet are unfairly denied. However, at every opportunity this Tory government has failed to act.

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Women protesting the cuts to State Pensions chant “Hey hey Theresa May how many women did you rob today”. #WASPI #Budget2017

She added: “What the UK government must realise is that pensions are a contract, not a benefit. And today’s Budget should have shown the UK government living up to that contract.

“It’s clear that delivering fair pensions is not high on the UK government’s priorities.

“With inflation spikes forecast, this budget was completely devoid of any mitigating measures to future-proof pensioner incomes.

“What we needed was a clear commitment to the triple lock beyond 2020 and action for the pension injustices WASPI women have suffered for too long.”

This an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP). Images and video added by Welfare Weekly.