Pur­ple patch for cam­paign

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

MCCAIG’S Tower, Stafford Street and street lights in Oban turned pur­ple at the week­end to raise aware­ness of Women Against State Pen­sion In­equal­ity (WASPI).

Mem­bers of the Ar­gyll and Isles branch of the group were joined at Stafford Street on Saturday night by Oban coun­cil­lors Kieron Green and Roddy McCuish to watch the lights change colour.

The change oc­curred as a re­sult of a pre­sen­ta­tion Ann Greer and Karen Mur­phy of WASPI gave at a meet­ing of Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil.

One of the cam­paign­ers who trav­elled to Oban for the event, Joan Fraser, from He­lens­burgh, said: ‘I have worked for 46 years, brought up a fam­ily and did vol­un­tary work, with a view to re­tir­ing in my early 60s. We won’t re­tired un­til we are 66. By the time I re­tire I will have paid 51 years’ na­tional in­surance, when 35 years is what is re­quired. We had no in­for­ma­tion about it, so we could not plan or put things in to place to pre­pare for this.’

WASPI states that it is a cam­paign group that fights the in­jus­tice done to all women born in the 1950s, who have been af­fected by the changes to the state pen­sion law. The law ex­tended the num­ber of years women would have to work for.

Ann Greer, co-or­di­na­tor of Ar­gyll and Isles WASPI group, said: ‘I have still not had any for­mal no­tice that I had an in­crease of six years. So I have to wait un­til I am 66. That means that I and my house­hold will have lost about £50,000 and that is money that we would have spent in the Ar­gyll econ­omy.’

Oban South and the Isles coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish said: ‘Per­son­ally, I am de­lighted to sup­port this cause and raise aware­ness. What we have done tonight is a great ges­ture af­ter they came to the coun­cil. It is the very least we could do.’

Oban North and Lorn coun­cil­lor Kieron Green added: ‘Pen­sions are im­por­tant for peo­ple and there’s a cer­tain group of peo­ple who have been badly af­fected by the re­forms. For pen­sions to be ef­fi­cient in the long term, there needs to be changes, but they need to be fair.’

Coun­cil­lors Kieron Green and Roddy McCuish joined the pur­ple WASPI cam­paign.

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