Coun­cil chiefs wade into ma­jor WASPI row

Ayrshire Post - - NEWS - Stu­art Wil­son

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.”

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