personal finance

State pension age change: McDonnell furious as Labour WASPI women pledge torn apart on BBC

The Labour Party has promised to compensate women born in the 1950s who say they did not have enough time to adjust to changes to the state pension age. Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) argue they should be reimbursed for the thousands they have missed out on after paying into the system for years. Labour has pledged to compensate the almost 3.8 million women to the eye-watering tune of £58billion – but it is unclear how the policy, which was not included in the party’s manifesto, would be funded.  

Addressing the matter on the BBC, Andrew Marr asked the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell: “You were here a little over a month ago and you were saying your manifesto, unlike many of the others, would be fully-costed. Sadly, that is not true. Is it?

“You announced that you were going to give £58billion to WASPI women. Where is that money coming from?”

Mr McDonnell replied: “In the normal way when a government has to meet a historic injustice we will have to identify that funding.

“Either from what headroom we will inherit.”

READ MORE: State pension age is increasing next month – who will be affected?

The Jeremy Corbyn ally then snapped at Mr Marr: “Let me finish Andrew, please! I don’t want to be rude.

“Either from the headroom we inherit. Or we will borrow.

“And I do not shy away from that. This is a historic injustice. I am clearing up the mess of past Conservative Governments.

“I am standing by these women. I will not be moved from this.”

The interview got heated when Mr McDonnell interrupted to say: “Let me just finish this point! The headroom that we might inherit is down to about £6billion. So the bulk of this will be borrowed. 

“We have got to be honest about that. But it is the right thing to do.

“These women have suffered enough. This is not about benefits it is an entitlement.”

Mr Marr replied with his hand on the Labour manifesto: “But it is not in your grey book.”



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