Labour shot down over pen­sion fear for women

Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette - - News - By MARTIN ELVERY martin.elvery@reach­plc.com Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

THE fate of women who will get their pen­sions at 66 when they had al­ways thought they would get them at 60 is no con­cern of Hilling­don Coun­cil.

That is the ver­dict of Tory coun­cil­lors who shot down a Labour group mo­tion call­ing for them to in­ves­ti­gate the ex­tent to which women are suf­fer­ing be­cause of the change made by the gov­ern­ment in 2011.

Labour group leader Peter Curl­ing tabled the mo­tion, call­ing on the coun­cil to in­ves­ti­gate and take ac­tion to help the women who he said were suf­fer­ing be­cause there was no tran­si­tional re­lief to help bridge the gap.

He said: “The ma­jor­ity of women born in the 1950s have planned their lives and their sav­ings around re­ceiv­ing their pen­sion at the age of 60.

“The lack of pro­vi­sion to of­fer tran­si­tional re­lief is caus­ing many women in this age group con­sid­er­able hard­ship, which also has a knock-on ef­fect for their fam­i­lies and their gen­eral fam­ily life.

“There must be many women, prob­a­bly thou­sands in this bor­ough, who fall into this age group.”

The mo­tion was sec­onded by coun­cil­lor Kerri Prince, who said there were 12,000 women in Hilling­don af­fected.

She said: “As this coun­cil prides it­self on putting res­i­dents first, I am hop­ing that this will be the case in Hilling­don and that all mem­bers across party lines feel that they can sup­port this mo­tion.”

The idea, how­ever, was shot down in no un­cer­tain terms by the Tories.

In a di­rect put down to Cllr Prince, who is a re­cent grad­u­ate from Brunel Univer­sity, Cllr Dou­glas Mills said: “This is a very im­por­tant is­sue, but this isn’t the cham­ber where it should be de­bated.

“We need to make it ab­so­lutely clear that the mo­tions where they seek to turn the cham­ber into a ju­nior Stu­dents’ Union de­bat­ing so­ci­ety, or pre­tend to be par­lia­men­tar­i­ans when they are not, will not be put for­ward.

“When the Labour group had the chance to talk about is­sues that re­ally af­fect Hilling­don res­i­dents such as the Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Plan, they were silent.”

Mr Curl­ing said after the meet­ing: “The Hilling­don Con­ser­va­tives seemed to be­lieve that the hard­ship faced by many women right here in Hilling­don was not worth their con­cern.”

More than 12,000 women may have been af­fected by the change in pen­sions

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