Renfrewshire MPs invite local women to learn more about WASPI campaign

Caitlin Logan

Gavin Newlands and Mhairi Black to speak at awareness raising event on pension delays

RENFREWSHIRE women born in the 1950s are invited to an open information session in Paisley on Thursday night on the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, where local MPs Gavin Newlands and Mhairi Black will speak on the issue.

WASPI is calling for action from the UK Government to address the adverse impact to women in this age bracket after inadequate information was provided to them about delays to their pension a result of the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011. The campaign is currently focussing on a mass maladministration case against the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

READ MORE: “A slap in the face to 50s women”: FOI reveals DWP faces thousands of unresolved WASPI complaints

Both of Renfrewshire’s MPs, Gavin Newlands and Mhairi Black, have been outspoken in support of the campaign at Westminster and will join the Glasgow and Lanarkshire WASPI group at Paisley Grammar School to inform local women about the campaign.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said ahead of the event: “I am delighted to be working with the local WASPI women to organise this public meeting which will raise awareness of the financial plight that so many of them are facing due to the changes that have been made to the State Pension without adequate notice or communication.

“Successive UK Governments have failed the WASPI women and this public meeting will allow the people of Renfrewshire to unite around a common message which calls on the UK Government to finally take action to help the WASPI women.”

The pension changes are estimated to have affected 3.8m women across the UK, with over 340,000 in Scotland and over 8000 within Renfrewshire.

Thursday’s meeting will also be supported by Labour MSPs Neil Bibby and Mary Fee and SNP MSP Tom Arthur.

Rosemary Dickson, WASPI Glasgow and Lanarkshire group co-ordinators, said that local women welcomed the support of cross-party MPs and MSPs in the area, and hoped that local councillors would also attend the event to show their support.

READ MORE: Double breakthrough for WASPI as parliament backs SNP motion and Ombudsman intervenes

She said: “The aim of the campaign is to bring the pensions plight of 1950s women to the attention of the government. Now we find that after a lifetime of doing the right thing, the government is taking away our security in retirement.

“Many of our women have lost as much as £48,000 of pension income, many without any notice of a six- year increase to their State Pension age.

“WASPI does not object to the increase in the women’s SPA, but simply the unfair and discriminatory way the changes were carried through. WASPI are now calling on the government to make fair transitional arrangements to their new pension age.”

WASPI and their legal representatives, Bindmans, have produced a guide to making a complaint and a guide to maladministration. Information about how to do this will be highlighted at the event in Paisley, which starts at 6pm.

A motion supporting the WASPI campaign’s aims was proposed by the SNP at Westminster last week and received the backing of 288 MPs to zero, including five Tories who voted in favour despite being ordered to abstain.

A backbench business debate on the issue will take place on 14 December, at which MPs will have another opportunity to cast their vote. 

Picture courtesy of Paisley Scotland

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