Deliver Free Travel for ‘WASPI women’ now, demands Labour

by Liam Byrne | 09.01.19 | in: Uncategorized

Immediate Release

Deliver Free Travel for ‘WASPI women’ now, demands Labour

Cllr Ian Ward, Jack Dromey and Liam Byrne unite to deliver call ahead of West Midlands Combined Authority budget. 

Birmingham City Council and Labour MPs have today called on Metro Mayor Andy Street to guarantee free bus passes for WASPI women affected by the sudden increase in state pension age.

The plan has already been introduced by Labour’s Mayor in Manchester, Andy Burnham, which delivers free travel across buses, trams and trains for women born between 6 October 1953 and 5 November 1954, who have had their pensions delayed by up to 6 years by arbitrary changes to pension rules by the Tory government.

Today, Labour leaders repeated their call for the West Midlands to follow Manchester’s lead ahead of the WMCA draft budget to be published this Friday.

The pass would entitled holders to free travel across West Midlands transport.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Ian Ward said today:

“These sudden pension changes have caused massive stress, upset and disruption to hundreds of women in the West Midlands who are being forced to return to work with as little as a year’s notice”

“A concessionary pass for those affected would go some way to helping out those hit hardest by this unfair policy”

Liam Byrne, MP for Hodge Hill, who led opposition to the changes to pension rules when they were introduced back in 2013, said:

“These women have had the rug pulled out from under them just a year away from retirement. They did the right thing, paid in and were then punished for being the ‘wrong age’ by this Tory government. The very least we can do is make sure they can get free access to public transport across the West Midlands”

Jack Dromey MP, who as Shadow Pensions Minister has led the campaign for the WASPI women, said:

“The WASPI women of Birmingham and Britain built our country. It is nothing short of shameful that tens of thousands of them have been cheated on their pensions. We have fought hard for that which will at least make a significant difference for the women concerned, free bus travel.”

Bridget Green, Birmingham WASPI co-ordinator said:

“So many of us women hit hard by the pension changes really struggle to make ends meet. We have campaigned long and hard with Jack Dromey and Liam Byrne for justice for the WASPI women. A breakthrough in the West Midlands would give real heart to WASPI women like myself who believe that if you campaign for a just cause you can win.”

ENDS

Notes

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