Saturday, January 18, 2020

‘Damian Green must apologise for misleading WASPI women’, say SNP

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The Scottish National Party has said it is “time for the Tories to come clean” on their broken promises to pensioners, after Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green misled voters by falsely claiming that the Scottish Parliament has the power to end the gross pension inequality faced by WASPI women which is completely false.

The SNP say Damian Green wrongly claimed on Question Time on Thursday night that the Scottish Parliament could use new social security powers to introduce a new benefit for WASPI women in Scotland, despite the legislation on powers for the Scottish parliament explicitly preventing the provision of pension benefits.

Neither can the Scottish Parliament top-up the pension for WASPI women because the UK government has made the WASPI women ineligible for any pension payments.

SNP say the Tories continue to let down Scotland’s pensioners with Theresa May and Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green failing to commit to maintain the triple lock, which ensures the state pension rises in line with average earnings, inflation or 2.5% – whichever is the highest.

Ian Blackford MP, the SNP’s spokesperson on Pensions, said: “It is time for the Tories to come clean on their broken promises to pensioners and Damian Green must apologise for misleading WASPI women as he desperately tries to distract attention away from his party’s atrocious record on pensions.

“Millions of women born in the 1950s have shamefully been denied their state pension but instead of ensuring that WASPI women receive their fair pension, Damian Green is simply misleading them.

“His claims are simply wrong. Instead of trying to hide from their own policies, it’s time the Tories took responsibility and paid the pensions these women deserve.

“The Tories can afford to put this injustice right for all the WASPI women across the UK by using the surplus in the National Insurance Fund instead of asking Scots to pay twice for the benefits they are entitled to.

“With the plight of millions of WASPI women who have been denied their rightful state pension, pensioner poverty on the rise despite millions in unclaimed pension credit and housing benefit and now a potential U-turn on the triple lock – the Tory record on pensions is absolutely appalling.

“At this election Scotland’s pensioners have the chance to strengthen their hand with a group of SNP MPs who will stand up for pensioners rights and tell the Tories that they will not be taken for granted.”

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