BRITONS have reacted furiously after John McDonnell clashed with the BBC’s Andrew Marr about where funding will come from to compensate Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) who say they did not have enough time to adjust to changes to the state pension age.
WASPI want to be reimbursed for the thousands of pounds they have missed out on after paying into the system for several years. The Labour Party, should they come into power following Thursday’s general election, has pledged to compensate the almost 3.8million women to the eye-watering tune of £58billion. But it remains unclear how the policy, which was not included in the party’s manifesto, will be paid for.
Addressing the matter on the BBC, Andrew Marr asked Shadow Chancellor Mr McDonnell: “You were here a little over a month ago and you were saying your manifesto, unlike many of the others, would be fully-costed. Sadly, that is not true. Is it?
“You announced that you were going to give £58billion to WASPI women. Where is that money coming from?”
Mr McDonnell replied: “In the normal way when a government has to meet a historic injustice we will have to identify that funding.
“Either from the headroom we inherit. Or we will borrow.
“And I do not shy away from that. This is a historic injustice. I am clearing up the mess of past Conservative Governments.
“I am standing by these women. I will not be moved from this.”
But Mr Marr continued to press the Shadow Chancellor on how this was going to be paid for.
He stated how Jeremy Corbyn has said it is going to come from Government reserves, before telling Mr McDonnell: “There is almost nothing there.”
Tempers began to rise between the pair, with the Shadow Chancellor snapping: “Let me just finish this point! The headroom that we might inherit is down to about £6billion. So the bulk of this will be borrowed.
“We have got to be honest about that. But it is the right thing to do.
“These women have suffered enough. This is not about benefits it is an entitlement.”
Voters have commented on the story on Express.co.uk’s Facebook page, reacting furiously towards Mr McDonnell.
Beverley Miller wrote: “To all you WASPI ladies, myself included. Don’t believe a word he says.
“If he gets into power, it will be taxed like everything else.”
Paul Richmond raged taxpayers will be left footing the huge bill, adding “anyone who thinks they will be better off under Labour is delusional”.
He wrote: “There is no money for all these massive promises they have made, so where will it all come from? You and me, the taxpayers. Where else?
“Anyone who thinks they will be better off under Labour is delusional.”
John Boyall also demanded answers, and wrote: “Exactly who is going to lend this money to Corbyn and co? Would you?
“How will it be repaid? Lots of unanswered questions.”
Dorothy Atkins Nial accused Labour of making the huge pledge without having a solid plan on how to pay for it.
She said: “It has taken all these years of austerity to get out of the mess they left the last time they were in.
“They just keep borrowing all the time with no thought of how to pay it back.”
Geoffrey Lages accused Labour of a “dishonest and desperate attempt” to win votes for the party ahead of next week’s general election.
He said: “Historic injustice he says. More like an after-thought after publishing their manifesto.
“Or perhaps a dishonest and desperate attempt to get some extra votes from somewhere.”
I am standing by these women. I will not be moved from this