Chaos at the Autumn Budget. Bet the Tories won’t want this broadcasting.

A scene from the budget
Steve Topple

There were some chaotic scenes during the Autumn Budget that you may have missed. But even if you didn’t, the Tories would probably prefer they weren’t broadcast.


Chancellor Philip Hammond didn’t mention the issue of women’s pensions during his budget. But unfortunately for him, some of the women affected were in parliament’s public gallery. And they certainly made themselves known:

As Labour MP Dawn Butler pointed out, the women seemed spurred on by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:

Other MPs tweeted their support:

The issue the women were making some noise about has been brewing for years.


As The Canary previously reported, the 1995 Conservative government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age to 65, which is the same as men’s. But the government did not contact the women affected until 2009 – 14 years later. At first, the government planned to slowly phase the reforms in. But in 2011, then chancellor George Osborne decided to speed up the process by several years.

As the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign explains, the result of these reforms is that:

hundreds of thousands of women born in the 1950s (on or after 6th April 1951) have been hit particularly hard.

They have seen their retirement age increase by up to six years. It has meant women cannot claim their pension until 65 from November 2018 and until 66 from October 2020. It was off the back of these changes that the WASPI campaign was born. The group has been pushing politicians to change the rules ever since.

So far, the government has failed to do anything about the WASPI women’s plight. And with nothing in the budget, their campaign continues. But as Monday’s events in parliament showed, they won’t be kept quiet.

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Steve Topple