National Retirement Age WASPI, get all the details!

Mel Stride MP is scheduled to be questioned in depth by the Work and Pensions Committee at 9.25am on Wednesday, May 22. The review is part of the DWP’s accountability inspections and covers recent announcements and policy developments.

Who will accompany the Secretary of State to this session?

Mel Stride will be attending the hearing alongside DWP Permanent Secretary Peter Schofield. Together they will effectively address all of the committee’s questions.

What topics will the committee discuss?

The committee is likely to discuss a number of pressing issues, including the UK government’s approach to welfare reform, assessing any proposed changes to Universal Credit health eligibility and the transition timetable for existing legacy benefit claimants.

How does the Department of Workforce Protection address fraud and errors in the system?

A key topic will be the Department for Work and Pensions’ recently published fraud and error report, which details its efforts and strategies to prevent financial errors in the system.

What measures have been taken to address the issue of overpayment of nursing allowances?

Overpayment of care benefits remains an ongoing challenge for DWP initiatives and programmes, so members of this committee should question any solutions they propose to understand how best to address this issue.

What is the government’s position on the PHSO report?

Responding to the findings of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) inquiry into changes to the state pension age for women will be one of the central themes of this spring. On March 21, the PHSO published the findings of their six-year inquiry, in which they accused the DWP of failing to adequately communicate the changes that will affect millions of women.

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How will the DWP help women affected by changes to the state pension age?

Following a review of the Office of Public Health Service report, there have been urgent calls for a compensation scheme to be set up for the estimated 3.8 million women affected by the state pension age change. The committee may want clarification on how and when this would come into effect from the DWP.

What previous communications influenced this meeting?

The recent correspondence between Sir Stephen Timms, Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, and Mel Stride following an oral evidence session with the WASPI campaign was a factor in its necessity.

What can we expect from this accountability meeting?

The conference on May 22 is expected to be highly educational and have important implications for shaping future policy. With senior DWP officials in attendance and the urgency of the issues raised, the conference should provide important insights into how the department can approach the UK’s major welfare challenges.

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