John Walker says 'same-sex pensions could have been sorted years ago' after landmark victory

'Government didn't resolve gay marriage pensions as it worried about other inequality claims'

Gay married couples now have the equal pension rights (Stock image)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Government could have sorted out the issue of pension rights for gay married couples years ago, but made a point of not doing so because it was worried.

That's according to John Walker who has won a landmark court case meaning if he dies, his husband will get the same pension rights as a wife would receive.

Walker's husband will be entitled to around £45,000 a year, having previously been eligible to receive only around £1,000 a year.

The 66-year-old, a former cavalry officer, told Julia Hartley-Brewer the Government "not only had the opportunity' to sort this out when the Civil Partnership Act or Marriage Act came in [in 2004] but they were encouraged by many senior members [not to do so]."

However, he added, "the Government made a point of not doing so" because it was worried about "other inequalities, not the same as this, between men and women dating back many years."

He thinks "they could have resulted this problem there and then" but instead "11 years have been wasted."

Had the issue been sorted earlier, Walker said, "there would be an awful lot of people alive today who would be well looked after."

Listen to the full interview above