A MORAY WOMAN who has been arguing the case for women to be treated equally in pension age changes is expressing her delight that the issue will be debated at the UK Parliament this week.
Leading the debate is Mhairi Black MP, the SNP member who was swept along with the nationalist surge at the UK Parliament last May, becoming the youngest member in the House of Commons in the process.
Ms Black has taken on the fight by many of the 2.6million women throughout the UK who have had the date on which they can collect their state pension delayed not once but twice – with little apparent care or understanding over the financial hardship that could cause.
A national petition signed by thousands has forced a debate in the Commons that was previously denied by the UK Government. Amongst those joining the national campaign has been Sheila Forbes, who has written many times on the subject to local MP Angus Robertson – who gave his support to the call for a debate last month.
Sheila told insideMoray: “I am absolutely delighted that there is to be a backbench debate in the House of Commons on January 7 – brought forward by Mhairi Black MP.
“In addition, the petition calling for Fair Transitional State Pension Arrangements for 1950s women has reached the magical 100,000 signatures ensuring that the issue must be considered for a full debate.
“Politicians of all colours now have the opportunity to make good the injustice imposed on this group of women – and all thanks to the media support of the WASPI campaign, nationally and locally.”
The inequality stems from women born in the early 1950’s who have twice had their pension date delayed by a total of up to six years, with the UK Government subsequently admitting that insufficient notice had been given – but refused to take any remedial action.
Pensions experts believe that by doing nothing the UK Government could leave themselves open to a class action being taken in court – one for which there would be a very strong case, with retirement expert Alan Higham commenting: “The risk of doing nothing could cost the taxpayer a small fortune in compensation for all affected – while prolonging huge suffering.”
A spokeswoman for the WASPI campaign which has been fighting for a fair deal urged that those affected should complain now to their local MP ahead of Thursday’s debate: “The more of them that are made aware of the rising anger over this, the more likely they are to act.”