WASPI

As you will know, since being elected, I have been supporting and fighting for those women affected by recent changes to the state pension age. Having met with many of you locally I have been working with fellow MPs in Parliament to try and secure a solution so that women who had little or no notice of their pension age being changed could be compensated. Despite as a group of MPs bringing a bill to Parliament to force the Government to revisit this issue, we have so far not been successful.

However, I wanted to share with you the progress that is being made in terms of the campaign.

The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO) has contacted me to say it has selected six complaints about the state pension age that will act as lead cases to set a precedent for thousands of others.

The six cases were selected for a preliminary enquiry, which the PHSO said would determine whether or not to investigate the claims further and which could potentially force the Government to intervene and support all women affected by the changes to their pension age.

These cases were brought to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE), the second stage in the Department for Work and Pensions' two-tier complaints process, by women unhappy about the recent increase to their state pension age.

The PHSO has now decided to step in and deal with this issue, as progress on handling the complaints proved slow.

The PHSO has used a broad generic scope obtained from the six cases for the purpose of their investigation and if they find in favour could have positive implications for all affected.

This is a positive step for the campaign and I look forward to seeing the outcome of this review and will I keep you updated.