CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt has refused to commit to compensation for Waspi women following a damning report which found women born in the 1950s affected by increases to their retirement age are owed compensation.

In an interview with Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday morning, Hunt insisted the issue was “genuinely more complicated” than other issues such as the Horizon scandal and the infected blood scandal.

Asked whether it was responsible for the Government to leave “huge unpaid bills” to the next parliament, Hunt (below) said: “We are not pushing those very, very difficult challenges to the right at all.

The National: “When it comes to infected blood, we’ve been absolutely clear we will pay compensation. It’s a terrible, terrible scandal, it’s gone on for far too long.

“When it comes to the Horizon scandal, I’ve had a constituent of my own who is terribly affected by it. We absolutely will pay compensation, we’re changing the law to make that possible.

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“With the Waspi women, it is genuinely more complicated, and the reason is this: that we had the ombudsman’s report on Thursday, but we’ve also had a report from the High Court and Court of Appeal in 2020 that says the Department for Work and Pensions behaved completely within the law and didn’t discriminate.

“So it appears to say something different and we do need to get to the bottom of that apparent difference between the two.”

He added: “We want to resolve it as quickly as we can, but there’s no secret vault of money. The money we would pay in compensation has to come from other taxpayers, so we do have to take time to get this fair.”

'Women have been betrayed by the Tory government'

In Scotland, the SNP has demanded the UK Government “step up” and issue an immediate apology and compensation to women affected by the change in the state pension age.

Kirsten Oswald (below), the party's women and equalities spokesperson, warned the UK Government against ignoring the report and urged it to back the private member's bill tabled by her SNP colleague Alan Brown.

The National: SNP MP Kirsten Oswald

This would force the Government to publish proposals for a compensation scheme.

She said: “Women born in the 1950s have been betrayed by the Tory government and deprived of pensions they were entitled to.

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“This saga has run on for far too long – it’s time for the UK Government to step up and put an end to this serious injustice by issuing an immediate apology and fair and fast compensation to all women who were affected.

"They could also show good faith and an intent to make things right by backing the Private Member's Bill tabled by my SNP colleague, Alan Brown, that would force the government to publish proposals for a compensation scheme.

“If the UK Government decides to ignore the report and carry on casting these women aside then Parliament must step in to hold the Tories to account and ensure that these women see justice."

The National: Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar suggested the SNP would be punished by voters if they do not back a minority Labour government (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scottish Labour, meanwhile, have been overruled by the UK party on its own policy after pledging to support Waspi women.

We revealed that staff have been instructed to not make “any unfunded spending commitments we cannot keep” if asked about compensation.