PLANS ARE BEING made for a more active and organised approach in Moray from those women who have been badly affected by UK pension changes.
The national Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) have been campaigning around the country against the changes imposed on women born in the 1950s.
Questions and debates have already been held in Parliament with support coming from the Scottish National Party – that came after a national petition against the government plans drew support from 193,000 people.
WASPI was formed by five women who had been personally affected by the changes and who wanted to do something to address the injustice. They only came together in 2015 and since have done an excellent job in raising awareness and bringing the campaign the Government.
However, some women are still in the dark about the changes to their pension age so the fight must go on.
Now Sheila Forbes is helping to organise a local campaign group in Moray, pointing out that while the petition has now closed it has given much more focus on the issues involved: “It helped raise awareness and prompted four debates in the House of Commons – which in turn has put pressure on the Government.
“The WASPI campaign submitted evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee and has engaged with MPs and Peers regularly, all in the hope of getting the Government to look at options for redressing the injustice to this group of women.”
That injustice will see women who had worked their entire lives towards the expectation of receiving their state pension at 60 – only for the rug to be pulled from under them not once, but twice in a matter of a few years, meaning that many of them will not receive their rights until 65 – or, in many cases, even longer.
Sheila said: “The support of many MP’s from all Parties is encouraging and there is now to be an All Party Parliamentary Group formed in mid-May. Many in the media have been supportive with journalists and other campaigners helping to raise awareness of WASPI.
“In order to maintain a high profile and put pressure on the Government, there is to be a demonstration in London on June 29. People are travelling from all over Britain and also coming together to form local WASPI groups.
“A group has recently been set up in Aberdeen and I am now in the process of forming a Moray local group with the support of the WASPI leadership.
“It is stressed by WASPI that it should be an Action Group rather than a chit-chat group – which is a bit intimidating, but I think it is worthwhile coming together for support and hopefully being able to achieve more that way.”
A social media page for the new group is in the process of being created – but If any lady would like to be part of the local Moray WASPI group, then they can contact Sheila@theforbes.co.uk.