Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur has shown his ongoing support for the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) Campaign, as a group of campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament today (05.06.19).
WASPI campaigners from across Scotland joined together outside the Scottish Parliament in recognition of a Judicial Review, sought by campaign group BackTo60, into the raising of the state pension age taking place at the High Court in London.
The hearing will be into whether or not the 3.9 million women born in the 1950s were appropriately communicated with regarding changes to the state pension age that will result in later retirement.
Up until 2010 women were eligible for their state pension when they reached the age of 60 but changes have seen this rise with the age at which women qualify for the state pension now 65, rising to 66 in October and 67, for men and women, by 2028.
SNP-commissioned research found that it would cost £8 billion, which is affordable given the surplus in the National Insurance Fund, to reverse the 2011 changes and give WASPI women more time to prepare – significantly less than the £30 billion suggested by the UK Government.
In Scotland, we are investing over £125 million in 2018-19 to mitigate against the worst impacts of Tory welfare reform and support those on low incomes – £20 million more than last year. Even with the limited social security powers devolved to Scotland, the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to create new pension benefits, as pensions are fully reserved to Westminster.
Commenting, Tom Arthur MSP said:
“This issue affects thousands of women across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, including their families, and I was glad to meet with WASPI campaigners today to once again show my support.
“The SNP fully support the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign in their efforts to secure fairness for women affected by the acceleration in the retirement age and, while we agree with the equalisation of the State Pension Age, we do not support the unfair manner in which these changes were made in the 2011 Pensions Act.
“The SNP will continue to fight for the UK Government to take responsibility, as they have ducked their responsibility to the WASPI women for too long. Pensions are not a privilege, they are a contract and the UK Government has broken that contract – it is time to end this inequality at source.”