This is Jeremy Corbyn’s full statement to the WASPI women campaigning in parliament today, on International Women’s day.
My best wishes and International Women’s Day greetings to everyone supporting today’s WASPI lobby.
You are highlighting a grave injustice. The Coalition Government’s decision to move the goalposts, by bringing the equalisation of the state pension age forward by a further two years to 2018, was plain wrong.
It was a betrayal of tens of thousands of women who had planned for their retirement based on the 1995 legislation.
It was justified by claims Britain needed a dose of austerity – yet at the same time tax cuts worth billions have been given to big companies and the very wealthy.
Today, we can expect the Chancellor to boast that the economy is doing better than expected. But will he do anything to right this wrong? I very much doubt it.
Labour is already committed to extending Pension Credit to help those worst hit by this callous change.
We are also developing solutions for those affected who would not be entitled to Pension Credit. And we will continue to consult with WASPI and others on this as part of our planning for government.
I am sorry I cannot join you today. I will be in the Chamber of the House of Commons for the Budget statement, ready to respond.
My speech will challenge the Government’s policy of endless austerity for the many, alongside generous tax giveaways for their wealthy and privileged friends.
My thoughts are with you today. I congratulate you on your stand and look forward to working with you to achieve justice.
Leader of the Labour Party