Durkan slams High Court ruling on women’s pension challenge
Mr Durkan said the decision failed to consider the social implications and other varying factors surrounding women’s pay.
The Foyle MLA said:
“The SDLP have previously campaigned for compensation ever since the introduction of this discriminatory change in state pension.
“The High Court decision is hugely disappointing. It is entirely unacceptable, not to mention illogical that 9.8m men were facilitated to retire at age 60 over a 24-year period each, with 5 years free National Insurance Contributions, yet 3.8m women were robbed and coerced back to work for up to 6 years.
“This is nothing short of flat out discrimination at the hands of the Westminster government. The accelerated hike in the state pension age hasn’t delivered equality – instead only hardship and suffering for thousands of women here who have been denied access to their state pension on time, further exacerbated by Welfare Reform and failure to consider a period of preparation.
“No harder will this impact be felt than places like the North- especially in my city of Derry. A city built on the foundations of our working women; those who put in long hours on poor wages, raised their children and dutifully paid into their pensions all their working lives. Those are the women who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase in the state pension age.
“I want to pay tribute to those women, to WASPI and BackTo60 for a hard-fought campaign and tireless efforts in pursuit of pension justice and equality. I will continue to support this campaign in any way I can going forward.”