Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Chris Grayling said:
"This is a massive u-turn. In the summer pensions ministers Mike O'Brien was very ready to make all the right noises for the women concerned but when it comes to a decision not to do something, it is slipped out at the end of the parliamentary session when nobody has noticed. This is a betrayal of stay at home mums."Age Concern spokesman Michelle Mitchell said:
"This is a slap in the face for thousands of women in or approaching retirement who are being penalised for taking time out of work to care." And that this would: "Condemn many more women to poverty."The Lords however have promised to push through the scheme anyway, even if it means doing it in the face of government opposition. Lord Oakeshott, the Lib Dem pension spokesman, said:
"When the u-turn was announced you could see a wave of revulsion sweep around the House. "Gordon Brown should be ashamed of himself for sneaking this out just before Christmas. "He must have a heart of stone to do this to millions of women and carers who had had their hopes raised by the government that they could buy back missing years which stopped them qualifying for a full pension."So as Gordon makes one announcement to repay the pensions (up to 90% of their value) that he ruined through his own incompetence, he sneakily dumps an amendment that could have made life a whole lot more secure for millions of women. It's not just the dumping of the scheme that infuriates me, it's the despicable way that it was announced.
Trust? shame? honesty? - Gordon and his cronies do not know the meaning of those words.