Readers' letters: WASPI decision demands justice

"It is nothing short of a scandal on a massive scale, massive because 340,000 women in Scotland alone are affected”

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 7:00 am
Glasgow WASPI group mark International Women's Day today by campaigning on the streets of Glasgow city centre

WASPI decision demands justice

A significant decision has been announced by the Parliamentary Ombudsman (TPO) at Westminster which could have implications for millions.

The millions are women born in the 1950s who received little or no notice from the DWP regarding significant rises in their state pension age, something those women affected are not complaining about. The complaint is the notice afforded to them.

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This announcement by TPO indicated complete inadequacy by the DWP regarding communications to those going to be affected by a rise in their state pension age and a complete lack of action by the DWP as far back as 2005 in taking any mitigating measures to correct such a massive change for the women affected.

Other failings by the DWP were highlighted in TPO report and the SNP leader at Westminster, Ian Blackford MP took the opportunity at the last PMQs of this parliamentary session to ask the PM to reflect on TPO’s judgment of maladministration by the DWP regarding the WASPI (Women against state pension inequality) and called for justice.

Mr Blackford’s call will have been echoed by many other MPs in the House as there is cross party agreement on the injustice.

Justice is necessary because many of the women affected have been plunged into poverty, claiming benefits for the first time in their working lives. Many have had to continue working, carrying health issues.

It is nothing short of a scandal on a massive scale, massive because 340,000 women in Scotland alone are affected.

The Holyrood Parliament has absolutely no jurisdiction on pensions, so over to you Prime Minister for justice.

Catriona C Clark, Banknock, Falkirk.

Trusting sorts

It has not been a good week for trust in our Scottish government. First, Deputy First Minister John Swinney was reported to the UK Statistics Authority for publishing a misleading and unverified Covid graphic on his Twitter account.

Then the SNP government was slated by the Scottish Information Commissioner for a "deeply concerning" approach to a freedom of information request on EU membership from a member of the public and for failing to disclose related factual information. After two years, the SNP government has admitted it failed to respond properly.

Then we find out that not only was former economic secretary Fiona Hyslop instrumental in the delayed publication of Scottish care home Covid death figures but the former health secretary, Jeane Freeman, was also involved in ensuring that these figures were not made public until after the Holyrood election.

Jim Houston, Winton Gardens, Edinburgh.

Frosty reception

Boris Johnson and his sidekick Lord Frost rushed to agree the Northern Ireland protocol because they were desperate for a deal, any deal, so that they could brag that they had succeeded where Theresa May had failed.

Perhaps the old adage should be changed: Divorce in haste, repent at leisure.

Michael Grey, St Thomas Road, Edinburgh.

Heritage at risk

The UN decision to strip Liverpool of its World Heritage status is a stark reminder of our responsibility to preserve and enhance Edinburgh’s New and Old Towns.

In this light, perhaps the council will reconsider its recent decision - taken without consultation - to impose on-street rubbish tips within the New Town Conservation Area. This is a bad decision taken badly.

Patrick Macdonald, Edinburgh.