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The parliamentary ombudsman is set to offer women who had their pensions delayed a ray of hope in their long-standing campaign.
Members of the WASPI campaign – including thousands of campaigners from Moray – have been arguing the case that the delay to their qualifying for a state pension, in many cases for as long as seven years, was conducted in a grossly unfair manner.
Their case has brought several debates in the UK Parliament with support from MPs of all political parties, including Moray’s Douglas Ross MP.
However, that has fallen on deaf ears with the UK Government determined not to make any changes to legislation or even consider compensation for those affected.
Now following a meeting between campaigning MP Stephen Lloyd and the Parliamentary Ombudsman, it has been revealed that the latter is to conduct an investigation into the process that WASPI members say has placed them in severe financial difficulty.
Confirming that the Ombudsman is to start their investigation into the processes implemented by various governments since the 1995 pensions act, Mr Lloyd has said that will start with the Department of Work and Pensions next week.
Speaking of his meeting with the Ombudsman, he added: “[It was] confirmed that the key conclusion available to them, it that is what is found, would be maladministration – and the final report could make specific recommendations about what should be done to address this.”
Recommendations could include financial compensation for those affected, in particular by the “poor communication” from various governments in appraising the women of the actions being taken.
Mr Lloyd told campaigners: “It has been a long haul for a lot of these good people – I will keep pressing on your behalf in Parliament.”
It is thought that more than 6000 women in Moray are affected.