Berwick MP joins group on state pension inequality

The launch of the new Parliamentary group on the State Pension Age.
The launch of the new Parliamentary group on the State Pension Age.

The MP for Berwick has joined a new Parliamentary group which will support those women hit by the acceleration of the equalisation of the State Pension Age.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign works to lobby the Government to introduce transitional arrangements for those women affected, many of whom were not notified about the changes and took early retirement, leaving them with lower-than-expected incomes.

More than 60 women from across rural Northumberland have contacted Anne-Marie Trevelyan to say they have been affected by the changes, many of whom met the Tory MP in Wooler earlier this year to launch the Berwick constituency branch of WASPI.

However, members of the local group then expressed disappointment after Mrs Trevelyan sided with the Government and voted against a Labour motion to introduce transitional arrangements for the women affected in February.

Explaining her decision to campaigners, she said: “Not only did I not agree with the wording of the motion, but by simply angering Ministers I would be doing you a disservice, as I would be making them less likely to listen to what I have to say.”

The Parliamentary Group, which was launched at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday, will be co-chaired by MPs from each of the parties and will work closely with the WASPI campaign.

It will seek to work with the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, to lobby for transitional arrangements.

Speaking at the launch of the new all-party group, Mrs Trevelyan, who recently met Minister Shailesh Vara to raise local concerns, said she was ‘proud to be a founding member of the new group’.

She added: “I hope that the new Work and Pensions Secretary will be receptive to our concerns and to the costed alternative proposals that WASPI will be drafting.”

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