Campaigners have demanded action after politicians shied away from committing to compensating women affected by changes in the state pension age.

Neither the Conservatives nor Labour have issued a response to Thursday’s report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) that found changes to the state pension age were not communicated adequately and those affected should receive an apology and compensation.

On a campaign visit to Derbyshire on Friday, the Prime Minister said the Government would look through the PHSO’s report “carefully” before providing “a considered and thoughtful response”.

He added: “More broadly, what I would say is I want a country where people can actually put in all their lives and have the dignity that they deserve in retirement.”

Rishi Sunak visit to Derbyshire
Rishi Sunak told reporters during a campaign visit to Derbyshire that the Government would deliver a ‘considered and thoughtful’ response to the report (Darren Staples/PA)

Earlier on Friday, Labour shadow cabinet minister Emily Thornberry said her party would not make any commitments until the Government had put forward its response, which she said should happen “next week”.

She told Sky News: “It has to be done in the right way. At the moment, we have to make sure that the Government doesn’t wriggle out of this.”

She added: “The Government has to make a decision about what is the appropriate way of compensating these women, and then they have to make a decision about how we make sure that Whitehall never makes this mistake again.”

But campaigners expressed frustration at the unwillingness of politicians to commit to compensation, which the PHSO suggested could cost between £3.5 billion and £10.5 billion, although campaigners are pushing for a higher figure.

Angela Madden, chairwoman of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) campaign, said: “Rishi Sunak will be on a sticky wicket asking for Waspi women’s votes at these local elections – and at the coming general election – unless he heeds the clear instructions of the ombudsman that Waspi women should be compensated.

“MPs of all parties signed up to the case for £10,000 compensation each. The Prime Minister has the power to bring legislation before Parliament which would deliver that, and that is what 1950s-born women now rightly expect.”

General Election 2019
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn committed to a £58 billion compensation package for Waspi women during the 2019 general election campaign (Joe Giddens/PA)

Ms Madden added: “We also want to hear what a Labour government would do if they were in office.

“Labour MPs have long supported the Waspi cause. At this critical moment, we want to see the Labour leadership step up that support, not step back.”

During the 2019 election campaign, Labour committed to a £58 billion compensation package for women affected by the pension age changes, which would have involved an average of £15,380 being paid to each of those affected.

Given the straitened public finances, questions have been raised about whether the issue of affordability has led politicians to avoid committing to a full compensation package.