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Minister criticised for TV comments

Green ‘misled’ women over Holyrood’s pension powers

Damian GreenThe Scottish National Party has accused Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green of misleading voters by claiming that the Scottish Parliament has the power to act on women’s state pension claims. 

Mr Green wrongly claimed on BBC Television’s Question Time on Thursday night that the Scottish Parliament could use new social security powers to introduce a new benefit for the campaigners fighting for a better deal.

Legislation introduced by Westminster pushing back the age when women qualify for their state pension led to the creation of the WASPI group demanding a re-think, or at least a phased access to their pensions.

The SNP today said Mr Green was incorrect in stating the Scottish Parliament could top-up the pension for these women.

Ian Blackford, the SNP’s spokesperson on Pensions, said: “It is time for the Tories to come clean on their broken promises to pensioners and Damian Green must apologise for misleading WASPI women as he desperately tries to distract attention away from his party’s atrocious record on pensions.

“Millions of women born in the 1950s have shamefully been denied their state pension but instead of ensuring that WASPI women receive their fair pension, Damian Green is simply misleading them. 

“His claims are simply wrong. Instead of trying to hide from their own policies, it’s time the Tories took responsibility and paid the pensions these women deserve.

“The Tories can afford to put this injustice right for all the WASPI women across the UK by using the surplus in the National Insurance Fund instead of asking Scots to pay twice for the benefits they are entitled to.

“With the plight of millions of WASPI women who have been denied their rightful state pension, pensioner poverty on the rise despite millions in unclaimed pension credit and housing benefit and now a potential U-turn on the triple lock – the Tory record on pensions is absolutely appalling.”

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