SNP call for Theresa May to end pension ‘injustice’

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Picture; PA
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Picture; PA
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The SNP has called on Theresa May to “end the injustice” for women over 60 hit by changes to the state pension before she “thinks about retiring”.

SNP Westminster group leader Ian Blackford said the Prime Minister can “shake the magic money tree when she wants to” as he listed deals for Trident, Hinkley Point C and the DUP agreement.

But the Prime Minister said the Government had put £1 billion extra into the change of the state pension age so nobody’s pension age would increase by more than 18 months than was expected.

During PMQs, Mr Blackford asked Mrs May whether she believed her Government had “delivered pension fairness for women who like her were born in the 1950s?”.

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Mrs May said: “What the Government is delivering for women is a better state pension for women so that women in future will be better off under the state pension than they have been in the past.

“We are equalising the state pension age - I think across the whole House everybody will recognise that that’s the right thing to do.”

Mr Blackford continued to press the Prime Minister, and said: “The Prime Minister has found up to £35 billion for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, up to £200 billion to replace the Trident missile system, and £1 billion for a deal with the DUP just so she can keep her own job.

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“She seems to be able to shake the magic money tree when she wants to.

“Can the Prime Minister now end the injustice for those women who are missing out on their pensions, before she herself thinks about retiring?”

Mrs May denied that the Government had funded Hinkley Point C, saying instead that it was privately funded.

She continued: “We have put £1 billion extra into this question of the change of the state pension age, to ensure that nobody sees their state pension age increase by more than 18 months from that which was previously expected.

“But I have to also say to (Mr Blackford) that the Scottish Government of course does now have extra powers in the area of welfare and perhaps it’s about time the Scottish Government got on with the day job and stopped talking endlessly about independence.”