WASPI women say DWP should end the game before saying ‘we won’t stand still’

WASPI campaigners have accused the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of “gambling” after they claim a meeting was refused. The group, which represents women affected by changes to the state pension age, sent a clear message to the government: “We will not go away”.

At a meeting with MPs on Tuesday 7 May, WASPI representatives expressed their frustration at Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride’s alleged refusal to discuss compensation, as recommended by a parliamentary lawyer. Angela Madden, president of WASPI, said: “The DWP have shown they will hide behind anything to avoid admitting they got something wrong.”

“Maybe now is the time to stop the game.” Earlier this year, an Ombudsman report, which described the need for women’s compensation as a “bombshell”, accused the DWP of delaying action on the issue.

Jane Cowley, another campaigner, pointed out that their requests for a meeting with Mr Stride had been ignored. “It looks to us like he’s playing for time and hoping to throw it into the long grass,” she said, reports Birmingham Live.

“We are not going away,” Ms Cowley told MPs.

“We can’t walk away when we have a woman (Waspi) dying every 13 minutes without justice. We will not sit back and passively accept that injustice. We know we have many MPs who support the House of Commons and indeed, when it comes to elections, (we have) the ballot boxes and, if applicable, the legal system.”

Ms Madden expressed concern about the DWP’s handling of the situation: “They (DWP) seem to be scared of the consequences of admitting failure,” she said. “It’s something we’re going to push and push until (the government) feels they have to. We will keep the pressure on. The DWP cannot simply ignore us.”

Responding, a DWP spokesman indicated that Mr Stride was currently reviewing the ombudsman’s report and would issue a response in due course.

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