Council chiefs wade into major WASPI row
Council chiefs have agreed to wade into a row over women’s pensions.
South Ayrshire’s chief executive, Eileen Howat, will be tasked with writing to Westminster on the high- profile spat.
It comes as councillors unanimously agreed to back a motion pressuring the government to “make fair transitional state pension arrangements”.
Campaigners applauded the decision to back their cause at a meeting in County Buildings on Thursday morning.
SNP councillor Julie Dettbarn, who proposed the motion, said:“Hundreds of thousands of women had significant pension changes imposed on them by the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011 with little or no personal notification of the changes.
“Many women born in the 1950s are living in hardship. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences.
“Many of these women are already out of the labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren, or suffer age discrimination in the workplace so struggle to find employment.
“These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60.
“It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute – it is widely accepted that women and men should retire at the same time.
“The issue is that the rise in the women’s state pension age has been too rapid and has happened without sufficient notice being given to the women affected, leaving women with no time to make alternative arrangements.”
WASPI ( Women Against State Pension Inequality) groups have since sprung up across the country to fight the cause for women born on or after April 6, 1951.
SNP colleague Peter Henderson, who seconded the motion, added:“When a mistake is made in policy, it is right to correct that.
“We should not try and plough on as the response from our current MP to these women implies.”