IT is with some disappointment that we learn the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women have lost their appeal at the Court of Appeal for compensation regarding the increase to their state pension age, affecting disproportionately women born in the early 1950s.

SNP MP Martyn Day took the opportunity at PMQs to bring the plight of the WASPI women to the attention of the House of Commons once again.

Those women affected have no issue with the equalising of state pension age between men and women, however they do have an issue regarding the notice they were afforded by the Westminster government to put alternative plans in place to supplement the loss of many years of their state pension.

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A recent report by the Prospect union found that the gap between men’s and women’s private pension pots was a massive deficit for women of £5,745/year. This was often as a result of women being predominately in low-paid or part-time employment and in many cases having had to leave employment to care for family members – scenarios that did not allow for making additional pension provision.

So it is a double blow for 1950s-born women, whose plight is being further exacerbated as a result of the global pandemic. The pandemic is impacting on employment prospects, which will in turn have consequences for many who will be forced into early retirement. The priority for available employment must be for the younger generation – after all, they are the country’s future and we must prioritise opportunities in their direction.

The country’s debt is rising alarmingly by the minute, resources at the DWP are stretched to the limit with

well over one million new applications for Universal Credit as a result of Covid-19, so is it a false economy not to pay those forced into early retirement (over 60 years old) their state pension immediately instead of moving them onto benefits, many for the first time in their lives. A pension review is needed and needed urgently in light of this global pandemic and the economic impact it is having on the country and all our lives individually.

Catriona C Clark