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Debate: transitional state pension arrangements for 1950s women

28 January 2016

MPs debate an e-petition calling for fair transitional state pension arrangements for 1950's women. The debate was scheduled by the Petitions Committee following a petition which was started on 

The debate, led by Helen Jones MP, the Chair of the Petitions Committee, starts at 4.30pm on Monday 1 February in Westminster Hall. The debate is on the motion: "That this House has considered e-petition 110776 relating to state pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s."

Why is this e-petition being debated?

The Petitions Committee has the power to schedule debates on e-petitions in the House of Commons Second Chamber, Westminster Hall. It considers all petitions which receive over 100,000 signatures for debate but may decide to schedule debates for petitions under this threshold. In deciding which petitions should be debated, it takes into account how many people have signed the petition, the topicality of the issue raised, whether the issue has recently been debated in Parliament, and the breadth of interest among MPs.

What will the e-petition debate achieve?

 Debates on e-petitions in Westminster Hall are general debates about the issues raised by the e-petition. MPs can discuss the petition and, if they wish, ask questions about the Government's position on the issue or press the Government to take action. A Government Minister takes part in the debate and answers the points raised. These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament. E-petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition. Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of n which individual MPs or members of the House of Lords who are not in the Government (known as "backbenchers") can ask Parliament to consider new laws.

Get involved

Online discussion

On Thursday 7 January, MPs debated the effect of the equalisation of the state pension age on women. There was a lot of public interest in this debate and many members of the public discussed their experiences and views on this subject online, on social media and forums.

The Petitions Committee has agreed to do all it can to maximise the potential for petitioners and other members of the public to be involved with debates on petitions. Ahead of the debate on 1 February, there were online discussions on the following forums:

Participants in the discussions were invited to respond to the following questions:

  • What were the most important points in the debate on 7 January for you?
  • What do you think should have been covered that was not?
  • What points do you think a second debate should focus on?
  • What questions would you ask the Minister following their response to the debate?

A summary of the discussions will be published online and made available to MPs taking part in the debate.

Contact your MP

You could contact your MP directly to tell them why this debate is important to you and suggest any points you would like them to raise.

The Petitions Committee

The Petitions Committee was set up in July 2015 to consider all petitions started on as well as the traditional public (paper) petitions presented by MPs.

As well as scheduling debates on petitions, the Committee can also conduct inquiries of its own. The Committee works closely with other House of Commons Select Committees to help connect petitioners with the work of Parliament. 

Start your own petition

Even the most famous campaigns in history started with a petition. Start yours today.

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