Purple patch for campaign
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.