WASPI woman says she ‘doesn’t know which way to turn’
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In the past, the state pension age for women was 60, however, after age equalisation, this changed to 65 – and subsequently rose to 66. Those born in the 1950s have therefore been required to wait longer to receive their state pension.
Amid the cost of living crisis, this is proving tough for many women, particularly financially.
This is the case for Susan Clark, 65, who needed to retire in her late fifties due to health problems, but who is now finding rising costs difficult to bear.
Ms Clark told ITV: “I haven’t been to a food bank yet, but I think it’s likely by the end of December I’ll be one of their customers.
“I feel horrified. I’m horrified we need food banks for people. I’m horrified that it would be me.”
Last winter, Ms Clark explained she was only able to heat one room in her house due to the cost of energy bills.
She continued: “I slept in the armchair because this room was heated. It’s unlikely I’ll be able to sleep upstairs.
“It’s a bit like going camping, that’s how I try to look at it, rather than being desperately low about it.”
Income challenges for Ms Clark have been compounded by the state pension age changes.
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Ms Clark stated she is counting down the days until she becomes eligible.
She added: “The state pension would effectively double my income.
“I’d be able to go and visit friends, I’m looking forward to that. I might be able to plan for the future as well.”
Campaign groups such as WASPI have called upon the Government to provide compensation to the women affected by the changes.
While they do not disagree with equalisation, they take issue with the way in which the changes were implemented.
Recently, Debbie de Spon, WASPI communications director, told Express.co.uk of the worries surrounding the triple lock.
It is not yet clear whether the policy will be upheld, but its potential removal could serve as a hammer blow for those who have already been forced to wait longer for their pension.
Mrs DeSpon said: “The impact of the loss of the triple lock will impact WASPI women born in the 1950s and have lifelong consequences.
“Already disadvantaged by rapid increases to their state pension age without proper notice, many have now spent their savings just to get by and have no means to withstand inflation and cost-of-living increases.”
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A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.
“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.
“We recognise that people are struggling with rising prices which is why we are protecting millions of the most vulnerable families with at least £1,200 of direct payments and providing all households with £400 towards energy costs.”
The Government has established a £37billion support package intended to help those who are finding it difficult.
This includes the Household Support Fund, which the Department states was boosted by £500million, to help people pay for essentials.
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