Positive Ageing in London (PAiL) and Wise Age are both supporting the campaign by WASPI to force the government to respect their rights and rescind the forced rise in the pension age for women from 60 to 66 by 2020. This precipitous move effectively has forced many women without due notice to either live off benefits or be forced to carry on working for an extra 6 years.
Chris Walsh Chair of PAiL and Chief Executive of Wise Age said
‘It is a disgrace that Amber Rudd, the then DWP minister has rejected the demands by WASPI for natural justice and has effectively forced women to live in comparative poverty or carry on working beyond their anticipated retirement age. This shows a complete lack of empathy for other women or an understanding of the situation millions of older women in the UK are facing – namely poverty.
This is part of a wider problem that older people are increasingly being picked on as the people responsible for the poverty of younger people, when the real culprits are the Government’s brutal pursuit of austerity and lack of commitment to helping increase the income of working and poorer people, focusing only on reducing taxes for the very richest.
The reality for over a million women pensioners is that they live below the poverty line and over 60% of all pensioners exist on an income below the tax threshold of £12,500.
Instead of blaming older people for the impoverishment of the young, blame the Government’s policies which have led to the wages of ordinary people still below 2008 levels while allowing the richest to increase their wealth by double or triple over the same period, mostly tax free.
Companies are still able to exploit the labour forces, trade unions are banned in many companies and the iniquitous use of zero hours contracts extends to even more people.
There should be a freeze on raising the pension age above 65 until there are a majority of people aged 64 in work, which is not currently the case. What in fact is happening is that yet again older people are being forced to either work longer and longer or live in poverty on benefits when they should be and have paid for a decent pension.
We seniors need to step up our demands for a decent minimum income for all – including pensioners and we fully support the actions that campaigning groups like WASPI and also the National Pensioners Convention are taking to fight the removal of free TV licences for all over 75s.’