WASPI chief slams Labour’s Rachel Reeves over DWP compensation admission | Personal Finance | Finance

WASPI campaigners have called on Labour’s Rachel Reeves to grant them compensation if Labour win the General Election.

The group was alarmed after Ms Reeves, who could become Chancellor on July 4, told a press conference that Labour had “not set out any money” for WASPI compensation.

The campaigners warned that a “wilful disregard” of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report, which recommended payouts of between £1,000 and £2,950, would make the new Labour administration into a “pale imitation of Boris Johnson“.

Boris Johnson said he would take a fresh look at the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) issue when he was campaigning to become Prime Minister, but there was ultimately no Government action on the debacle under his leadership.

Angela Madden, chair of WASPI, said: “This has gone on long enough. While politicians dither and delay, the women affected are dying at a rate of one every thirteen minutes.

“There is no point in having an Ombudsman if Governments – blue and red alike – are just going to ignore its recommendations.

“WASPI women have waited six long years for the outcome of his investigation and it vindicated us, demanding that compensation be paid.

‌”And Rachel Reeves surely can’t be saying a Labour government would just show wilful disregard for his conclusions. We are the sixth largest economy in the world and an independent watchdog has recommended compensation be paid, so money will have to be found.”

Ms Madden previously criticised the Conservatives for their ‘triple lock plus’ policy to reduce taxes for state pensioners, saying it was a “ploy” that wouldn’t benefit many WASPI women.

The campaign boss said: “Imagine the outcry if anyone had said that victims of the Post Office and infected blood scandals would just have to lump it because the Treasury is short of cash.

“WASPI women have worked hard, looked after families and paid into the system all their lives. We deserve better from both the big parties.”

The announcement of the General Election brought to an end progress for the WASPI campaign in Parliament, including a committee recommending they should get compensation.

Ms Madden said the campaigners believe the issue of WASPI compensation could steer voters away from the two main parties if they don’t take a position on it.

She said: “We do expect the other parties to gain votes. I think people are really open about where their vote is going to go this year.

“The issues that matter to them, matter to them. I think the politicians need to take note of that.”

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