Women Against State Pensions Inequality – some history

Women Against State Pensions Inequality (‘WASPI’) are using the general election to wage a very successful campaign pressuring candidates to sign the ‘WASPI pledge’ to support compensation for women born in the 1950s who find that their state pension age is not 60, as many had expected. But though WASPI complains about the short notice of the increase in pension age for this generation of women, it has been a long time in the making. Hugh Pemberton has written a background piece for the History and Policy website which traces the long history of equalisation. That history goes back to the late-1970s (when Barbara Castle was put off by the staggering cost of equalising downwards to age 60) and the early-80 (when Margaret Thatcher was warned that it was an awful lot easier to give a benefit to someone than to take it away). Legislation finally came in 1995, but history indicates that it was both understood as a step towards gender equality and much more publicly discussed than WASPI alleges.

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