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177 MPs demand 'restitution' for women's pension age rises as campaign hits No10; The battle over state pension age rises for millions of women born in the 1950s has seen its latest step.

Byline: Dan Bloom

Campaigners fighting in the High Court against women's state pension age rises have delivered a demand for "restitution" to 10 Downing Street.

The Back to 60 campaign handed in a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday demanding a "swift response" to a call by MPs for justice.

Campaign director Joanne Welch,LabourMP Anna McMorrin and UNISON highlighted a motion by 177 MPs including 18 Tories in Parliament.

The non-binding Early Day Motion calls on the Government to enact a "temporary special measure as permitted by international law" to provide "restitution" to those affected.

It was launched by Ms McMorrin in April but has been gaining signatures steadily with the most recent added in July.

Ms McMorrin said: "The state pension changes have disrupted the lives of millions of women born in the 1950s. Many have had to change their working and retirement plans so late in life, causing great upheaval."

Millions of women born in the 1950s are having their state pension age hiked to make it 66 by 2020, the same as for men.

Furious campaigners say the change came with too little notice, and two women areclaiming unlawful discrimination through the High Court.

The letter to the Prime Minister says the change cause a "great ordeal" to many of the 3.8million women affected and demanded a "swift response".

Just before he became Prime Minister,Boris Johnsonsaid he would "commit to doing everything I possibly canto sorting out" the issue which "I'm conscious has been going on for too long".

He added he was "not convinced" by government forecasts, one of whichclaimed reversing all changes would cost [pounds sterling]181bn over 16 years.

But last month, welfare chief Amber Rudd said she was "sceptical" those hit can get any extra support and there is currently "no prospect" of that changing.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said: "At the moment the Treasury has been very resistant to supplying any additional funds.

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"We will see whether a new Prime Minister takes a different view. But at the moment there is no prospect of that changing."

A hike to women's state pension age from 60 to 65, over 10 years starting in 2010, was first proposed in the 1995 Pensions Act.

But that was accelerated by the 2011 Pensions Act, which laid out plans to hike the age to 65 in November 2018 - followed by 66 in October 2020.

Facing an outcry, ministers agreed a [pounds sterling]1.1bn concession in the final stages of the Act, supposedly to limit any one person's pension age rise to 18 months.

But 2.6million women were still hit, according to the House of Commons Library.

The furore has sparked a number of separate campaigns.

Back to 60, which is currently fighting a battle in the High Court, says women had a "legitimate expectation" to receive their pension aged 60 and demands "the return of those earned dues".

Separately, Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) is calling for "fair transitional arrangements" to help women financially, though not a full return to age 60.

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A letter has been delivered to 10 Downing Street

Credit: PA

The Back to 60 campaign is fighting pension age changes in the High Court

Credit: REUTERS

Amber Rudd said she was "sceptical" those hit can get any extra support
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Title Annotation:News,Politics
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 23, 2019
Words:561
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