Next week, the BackTo60 campaigning fighting against pension changes for 1950s-born women will face the Court of Appeal.
On 21 July the Court of Appeal will be considering the change to women’s state pension ages following an unfavourable decision by the High Court last October, after a judicial review of the case brought by the BackTo60 campaign.
Neil Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales, is a long-time supporter of Women Against State Pension Injustice, a campaign group fighting on behalf of women born in the 1950s who have been affected by changes to their state pension age.
Mr Hamilton said: “I am delighted to see this appeal go ahead. I have raised this matter in the Senedd on several occasions and called on the Welsh Government to get involved. It is a national disgrace that thousands of women have been so seriously affected by changes to their pensions.
“The change in state pensions is causing real hardship to thousands of women all over the country who are desperately trying to make themselves heard. Many did not receive any notification about the change in state pension age or only had a few months to plan for this.
“I was very disappointed with the result of the judicial review last October and, welcome the decision to look at it again.
“It is grossly unfair that those born in the early 1950s are discriminated against in this way.
“Everyone understands the need to adjust pension arrangements but the system should be tapered so people do not find themselves falling off a financial cliff because their birthday is just the wrong side of a cut-off date.
“The Pension Acts of 1995 and 2011 gave women very little notice of the changes and the effect on their financial position after the age of 60. I hope the appeal goes in favour of the thousands of women affected but, either way, I shall continue to support them and campaign on their behalf.”
Meanwhile Mid and West MS Helen Mary Jones has made a plea in the Senedd during Counsel General questions for Welsh ministers to back the WASPI campaign.
Plaid Cymru is backing calls for 1950s women to have early access to their pensions and pension credit.
The Counsel General Jeremy Miles told the virtual Senedd the Welsh Government’s last letter to the Westminster Government on the pensions issue did not even get a reply.
Pembrokeshire co-ordinator for WASPI Jackie Gilderdale said: “Groups across the UK were devastated by Rishi Sunak’s mini budget as yet again; the government have failed to support women born in the 1950s.They should be part of the economic recovery.
“Why did the Counsel General say last year he cannot get involved with supporting the judicial review, then in his response to Helen Mary Jones he said they’ve written to UK Government, but have not had a response.
“Can he make that letter public and why has he not followed up with UK Government to get a response?
“The appeal hearing will be on 21 July but in the meantime MPs Ben Lake and Andrew Gwynne have asked the Chancellor to allow all 1950s women immediate access to their state pension and pension credit – will he support that and again follow up with UK Government?
“I would also like to hear some more positive messages from both Conservative Pembrokeshire MPs about taking up the case of the 1950s women, rather than ignoring our appeals for help.”
Stephen Crabb MP said: “I have met with Pembrokeshire WASPI and made representations on behalf of a number their members individually. I’ve spoken to successive Pension Ministers about the campaign.
“With the Court of Appeal due to hear this case later this month, I look forward to learning their judgment on this case.”
NOTE: A previous version of this story said the appeal was being brought by the Waspi group. This is incorrect, the court battle is being fought by the BackTo60 group. We apologise for the error.
— to www.countyecho.co.uk