Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to compensate the women who lost out on cash because of changes to the pensions age, at a cost of £58billion to the British taxapyer. The Labour leader said the treatment of the WASPI women had created a “moral debt”. But during Mr Corbyn’s car crash interview with Andrew Neil on Tuesday night, he struggled to explain how the pledge would be funded.
The BBC host asked Mr Corbyn nine times how he plans to find the money to compensate the WASPI women.
Instead of answering the question, the Labour leader said he wanted to “explain why” the WASPI women should be compensated.
Mr Neil then became visibly frustrated as Mr Corbyn repeatedly dodged the question but the Labour leader eventually admitted his government would borrow the money.
He said: “What we’re saying is we will do it, we are paying for it from Government reserves and if necessary, because it’s not all going to be paid in one year, we will have to borrow in the long term.”
This is because the policy would set a precedent for re-writing long-term welfare reforms, and notes the pension changes were first introduced 14 years ago, in 1995.
The Pensions Act 1995 followed by the Pensions Act 2011, increased the state pension age for women to 65, up from 60.
It brought the age in-line with men and it is set to rise t0 66 for both sexes from October 2020.
The WASPI campaign opposes the changes and argue they were given little notice to prepare for the increase in retirement age.
But they support the principle of state pension equalisation.
Last month the campaign group lost a High Court battle for compensation from the Government.
They alleged the way the Government brought in the changes discriminated against older women on the grounds of age and se.
But the judges rejected claims that raising their pension age unlawfully discriminated against women and that they were not given adequate notice in order to adjust.