Pay more than lip service to WASPI women

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine
Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has blasted the Scottish Government over its failure to use devolved powers to alleviate difficulties experienced by women affected by changes to the state pension age.

Across the UK more than three million women have had their retirement plans shattered after suddenly finding out that they wouldn’t be able to retire when they expected.

Despite the SNP publicly supporting the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, the Scottish Government hasn’t made use of powers acquired under devolution to top up social security benefits in order to mitigate the impact of pension changes.

At the final question time session to the Scottish Secretary David Mundell before Parliament’s summer recess, Ms Jardine asked David Mundell about this.

She said: “Does the Secretary of State agree that one of the frustrations that those of us who cherish devolution feel is the SNP’s apparent reticence to use many of the Scottish Parliament’s powers.

“For example, what a difference they could make to the lives of the 6,000 WASPI women in my constituency of Edinburgh West if they used the powers they had to alleviate the difficulties, rather than using them as another grievance.”

Mr Mundell resonded: “I agree wholeheartedly with the hon. Lady’s sentiment. It is well documented that if, having aligned themselves to the WASPI cause, the SNP Government really wanted to do something for WASPI women, they have the power and, indeed, the capacity to raise the resources to do so.”

Afterwards Mrs Jardine added: “The SNP have supposedly aligned themselves to the WASPI cause, but they are equally as guilty as the Tories in Westminster for failing these women”.