NEW HOPE HAS been raised for Moray women taking part in a national campaign for a better deal over when they will receive their state pensions.
Pressure has been increasing on the UK Government for a change of heart as women born in the early 1950’s has highlighted disparities in pension arrangements that sees them being harshly treated.
Many who had planned and expected to qualify for a State Pension at 60 now find themselves having to wait for up to six years longer – legislation pushing back their retirement age not once but twice.
Government ministers have subsequently admitted that there were failings in the way the system was introduced, including a lack of clear warnings being given to those most affected.
Sheila Forbes is a leading campaigner in Moray who says that the recent change in Prime Minister and subsequent wholesale changes in ministerial positions has brought some new impetus to the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign in Moray and throughout the country.
She said: “The recent momentous changes in government have hopefully created some positive developments for the WASPI campaign.
“We have a new Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Damian Green, as well as a new Junior Work and Pensions Minister in Penny Mordaunt.
“Baroness Ros Altmann ‘resigned’ her post and in her resignation stated that on the issue of women’s state pension age, whilst she respected the democratic decision taken in 2011 by our Parliament, she was not convinced the Government adequately addressed the hardship facing women who have had their state pension age increased at relatively short notice.
“She admitted that women were not adequately informed of the positon they faced.”
Sheila added that WASPI members are planning a mass-mailing to the Department of Work and Pensions today, calling on women affected to join that by visiting www.waspi.co.uk and following the ‘action’ tab.
An approach will also be made to the new Prime Minister, who herself was born in 1956 – she will be reminded of a speech she made pledging to fight against “burning injustice” – a feeling most women of her age group now have over their pension rights.
Meanwhile the Moray WASPI Group are holding a meeting this week on Wednesday at 7pm in the Inkwell Room at the Elgin Youth Café on Francis Place at which all are welcome to attend.
The Moray WASPI group can be contacted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.