Ayr's MSP has said that compensation due to women dating back to 1950s has to be swift and fair.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has been looking at potential injustices resulting from the decision to raise women's retirement age from 60 to 65 to bring it in line with men's.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) say millions suffered financially as they were not given sufficient warning of the change. 

PHSO chief executive Rebecca Hilsenrath has said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has indicated it will refuse to comply with the recommendations and Parliament has been asked to intervene to ensure a compensation scheme is established.

Ayr MSP, Siobhian Brown, says the report does not go far enough with the compensation offered.

Ayr Advertiser:

The PHSO stated in its report that women affected should be given pay-outs between £1000 and £2,950 as plans to change the pension were not communicated properly. 

Previously the Ombudsman confirmed the Department of Work and Pensions ‘did not get it right’ in making women aware of these changes from 2005, which mounted to ‘maladministration.’

Commenting on the situation, Ms Brown said: “I am pleased to see that the Ombudsman says the DWP should compensate WASPI women – however that compensation does not go far enough. 

"This decision to change the pension age has caused extraordinary emotional, physical, and psychological distress as well as severe financial hardship.

"In South Ayrshire alone around 5,000 women lost £8,000 each for approximately 6 years. That’s £40m a year lost from the local economy and £240m over 6-years."

Ayr Advertiser: The MSP received a WASPI hero award in 2023.The MSP received a WASPI hero award in 2023. (Image: Siobhian Brown MSP)

Ms Brown added: “I was the Co-Convenor of the WASPI cross party group, and I know all too well how this has affected these women – some of the stories are heart breaking and some women are no longer with us to hear this ruling.

“Action now must be swift from the UK Government to put a scheme in place. This money belongs to the women who have paid their national insurance and taxes their whole lifetime. The compensation needs to be fair though – as the amount suggested by the PHSO does not go far enough.

“I am so very proud of the women all over the country and particularly across Ayrshire who have fought long and hard for this. I will be by your side as we continue to fight for justice.”