Pensions - The fight for pensions’ justice
Sir, – I write with regard to your recent coverage of the Midlothian WASPI protest in Dalkeith. Whilst the publicity for WASPI women is appreciated I do have concerns about the accuracy and I feel it misrepresents the WASPI campaign which, incidentally, stands for Women Against State Pension Inequality (not equality as was printed). You reported the campaign is to urge women to write letters to the DWP and ICE to protest against “changes to state pension age”. Possible interpretation of this can be exemplified by a gentleman who approached us at the protest suggesting that whilst women wanted equality in areas such as pay etc. they complained when equalisation of state pension age (SPA) adversely affected them.
This is simply not the case accept the equalisation of SPA, our campaign is against the maladministration of the transition arrangements and the lack/absence of notice to women affected by these changes.
Women born in the 1950s have had their SPA increased by as much as six years with very little, if any, notice (18 months to three years before their planned retirement age). This equates to a loss of income of around £35-40,000 having paid NI contributions for over 35years. Compare this to the recent increase of one year with 20 years notice and the ensuing uproar and you might imagine how angry WASPI women feel.
The WASPI campaign is a national one across the UK. Within that campaign various regional groups have been formed, such as WASPI Midlothian, to raise awareness of this injustice and to support women affected through the complaints process.
Our event at Dalkeith was very successful. We had 10 new members, 50 information posters were taken to display in various places and 60 drafts of the first letter were taken so women could start the process. The WASPI campaign does receive cross party support, as you mentioned, and it was good to receive hands on support from councillors Kelly Parry, Dianne Alexander and Cath Johnstone, also MSP Colin Beattie. We also appreciated our MP Danielle Rowley popping along. Any 1950’s women can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we also have a Facebook page WASPI Midlothian. – Yours, etc.,
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