WASPI women row as BBC panellist sparks furious backlash with one controversial remark | Personal Finance | Finance

WASPI campaigners have expressed their anger with ex-Tory adviser Samuel Kasumu’s comment that “sorry should be enough” while speaking on the BBC.

Mr Kasumu said “I don’t think compensation is appropriate for this particular circumstance, sometimes ‘sorry’ should be enough” when discussing whether WASPI women should receive DWP compensation on BBC Two’s Politics Live show.

Mr Kasumu also said WASPI women had “ample time” to find out about changes to the State Pension age and pointed out that they’d had an extra £900 guaranteed by the Triple Lock, against the Ombudsman’s minimum recommended compensation of £1,000 and said that compensation shouldn’t be given in the current economic climate.

“I don’t think compensation is appropriate for this particular circumstance,” he added.

These comments sparked a row with Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey as she reacted negatively to the idea that WASPI women had “ample time” to find out about the State Pension changes.

Ms Long-Bailey branded the Government’s treatment of WASPI women as an “injustice”, adding: “We have hear harrowing stories from huge numbers of women who have been destitue, some have lost their homes, some have faced mental health difficulties, some have been suicidal. This is a huge injustice and needs to be treated in that way.”

Ms Long-Bailey reacted to claims that there is not enough money available to compensate the WASPI women by comparing it to the Post Office scandal and the tainted blood scandal, arguing that a perceived lack of funds would not have been an appropriate get-out for paying out to those victims.

“Redress must be made to these women,” she said.

Mr Kasamu responded by saying: “There are three million pensioners in the country, many who are probably victims of this particular issue who are millionaires, we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

“We don’t just have billions to pour away every time the Government does something that they need to learn a lesson from. Sometimes sorry should be enough.”

Shaking her head, Ms Long-Bailey retorted that “sorry isn’t enough I’m afraid”.

Thousands of women have campaigned for compensation since the Government raised the State Pension age for women from 60 to 65 in 2018.

The issue relates to the roughly 3.8 million women born between April 6, 1950 and April 5, 1960.

Angela Madden, chair of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, said: “More than 260,000 WASPI women have died since the campaign began and this tragic statistic reconfirms the urgent need for justice for all those affected, following the repeated failures by the DWP and successive administrations of all colours.

“The Government has shown it can act to end long-running injustices within a matter of weeks as seen with the Post Office scandal. WASPI women must finally be awarded the same dignity with swift action.”

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman received formal complaints by more than 500 women who were born in the 1950s.

A report from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman previously recommended payments of between £1,000 and £2,950, in line with Level 4 of its injustice scale.

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