‘Our voices matter’: Argyll women call for pensions justice from government
WOMEN Against State Pension Inequality - known as the Waspi campaign - has been taking its message the length and breadth of Scotland and the UK during the election campaign.
Following a major demonstration in Glasgow last week, a further rally was organised by Argyll and Isles Waspi in Rothesay, Isle of Bute.
The event - supported by regional councillors and MP candidates - called for action from the UK Government to correct the inequality created by pension age “equalisation”, which raised the state pension age with “no time to make alternative plans”.
According to the group, “retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences” for women born in the 1950s affected by the changes. Waspi want “fair transitional state pension arrangements” as the pension age increases to 66. Over 140 local groups sprung up across the UK in support of the campaign.
In Rothesay local campaigners were supported by Brendan O'Hara (SNP Candidate), Alan Reid (Liberal Democrat Candidate) and Michael Russell MSP. Jackie Baillie (Labour MSP) attended the group’s Helensburgh event.
Argyll and Isles Waspi told CommonSpace: “3.5 million women have lost out, unfairly, because of the maladministration of pension changes introduced by successive governments. We wanted all parliamentary candidates to hear, first-hand, from 1950s women living in the constituency where they are seeking election. Women from various parts of Argyll, including Bute, shared their experiences as to how the pension changes are affecting them. Our voices and votes are significant.”
Councillors Jim Findlay (SNP), Jean Moffat (Independent) and recently retired councillor Isobel Stong also attended.
Brendan O’Hara, elected for Argyll and Bute in 2015, commented on the meeting: “I was delighted to join my colleague Michael Russell MSP at a meeting organised by the Waspi campaign (Women Against State Pension Inequality). Despite the thunder storm that hit in the middle of the afternoon, the meeting was at least twice as large as they had expected. I promised that if re-elected that I and all my SNP colleagues would continue to give the Waspi campaign the same level of support in the next parliament as we did in the last.”
Picture courtesy of Argyll and Isles Waspi
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