MIDLOTHIAN MP CALLS CHANCELLOR’S BUDGET ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY A “DERELICTION OF DUTY” TO WASPI WOMEN

Owen Thompson MP signing the Unison WASPI pledge, 8 March 2017

Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, has joined his SNP colleagues at Westminster in calling the Chancellor’s Spring Budget a dereliction of duty and criticising the Chancellor for failing WASPI women on International Women’s Day.  He warned that the UK government’s silence and failure to outline a single measure to tackle state pensions inequality was deafening.

Following the Budget, SNP MPs addressed the WASPI campaign’s protest taking place outside Westminster.  They called the Chancellor’s Budget yet another signal of a Tory government intent on pursuing a policy of austerity, ignoring repeated debates and interventions led by SNP MPs calling for justice for women born in the 1950s and seeking to fill the gap left by gross pensions inequality.

Owen Thompson MP commented:

“This should have been an opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day, instead my SNP colleagues and I are campaigning alongside WASPI campaigners – including some from my own Midlothian constituency – protesting for long overdue justice following a Spring Budget that was nothing short of a dereliction of duty by this Tory government.

“The silence from the Chancellor on state pension inequality as he delivered his Budget was devastatingly deafening for those WASPI women campaigning outside the House of Commons.”

Ian Blackford MP, the SNP’s Pensions spokesperson, added:

“The Chancellor had an opportunity to right a wrong and deliver measures that would give these women their pensions that they have rightfully earned, yet are unfairly denied.  However, at every opportunity this Tory government has failed to act.  What the UK government must realise is that pensions are a contract, not a benefit. And this Budget should have shown the UK government living up to that contract.

“It’s clear that delivering fair pensions is not high on the UK government’s priorities.  With inflation spikes forecast, this budget was completely devoid of any mitigating measures to future-proof pensioner incomes.  What we needed was a clear commitment to the triple lock beyond 2020 and action for the pension injustices WASPI women have suffered for too long.”