Government blasted for new rules that will leave up to 700,000 women pensioners worse off


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The Independent Online

The Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, called on the Government yesterday to change rules that will leave up to 700,000 women worse off when they claim their pension.

While the Pensions Bill, which will introduce a single-tier state pension from April 2016, was being discussed in Parliament, she demanded that the Work and Pensions Secretary amend rules that will leave women born between 1951 and 1953 with a smaller state pension than men of the same age.

“As it stands, thousands of women will be doubly disadvantaged,” Ms Lucas told i. “They will have to wait longer for a state pension, but unlike men of the same age won’t qualify for the new single-tier pension. Many will be left worse off on a weekly basis and for people living on low incomes, that’s what matters.”

Pensioner poverty among single older women is particularly severe and many have been campaigning against this unfair anomaly. Cathe Rikby, lead spokesperson for the “51 to 53” collective of women, said: “We are rightly outraged by this government’s newly created permanent pension anomaly which creates injustice, discrimination and inequality.”

The rule could hit women born between 6 April 1951 and 5 April 1953. While not all those born between these dates will be treated unfairly because of their gender and birth date, many will.

“The Government must address this unfairness by amending the Pensions Bill to give these women the right to receive the single-tier pension from 2016,” demanded Ms Lucas.

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