Following a cross-party debate demanding the UK government end the pension injustice for thousands of women across Scotland, local SNP MSP Tom Arthur met with Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) at a Holyrood event.
The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pensions Act increased the state pension age for women from 60 to 65 in order to equalise the age with men. WASPI do not dispute the equalisation of the pension age, but does not agree with the unfair way that the changes have been implemented – with little or no personal notice.
Anne Potter, coordinator of the group WASPI Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Dumbartonshire and Renfrewshire Group, said:
“We have paid our national insurance contributions in the expectation that we will receive a State Pension at a certain age, however sadly this has not been the case. The State Pension is not a benefit; it is a social contract with the people. It is scandalous that the UK Government can ride roughshod over thousands of women who have paid into the system.”
Commenting after the Scottish Parliament event, group member Wendy Millar said:
“The debate held in the Scottish Parliament demonstrates the commitment and support offered by MSPs across the political spectrum. The event that followed the debate was excellent and WASPI campaigners are extremely grateful to MPs and MSPs for continuing to back the plight of 1950s born women.
“We need to continue to raise awareness of this injustice and ensure WASPI remains high on the agenda despite these challenging political times. We are not against equalisation but the unfair and discriminatory way that changes were introduced. Many women had no notice of a six-year hike to their State Pension Age, resulting in little or no time to prepare for a significant change to their personal finances, a loss of up to £48,000.
Almost 11,500 women born in the 1950s are affected across Renfrewshire North and South alone. If you would like any further information about the campaign or details of any future events, find out more by joining our Facebook Page or contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org”
Tom Arthur MSP added:
“It is disgraceful that so many women across the country have been unfairly forced to reconsider their retirement plans at short notice and faced financial difficulty as a result.
“The SNP is committed to fighting for the UK Government to take responsibility, deliver the pension that women born in the 1950s deserve and end this inequality at source.”
“This issue affects thousands of women across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, including their families, and I will continue to support the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign. “