Colin Smyth MSP
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called on local people to get behind the WASPI campaign, to help fight the injustices these women have faced.
The local MSP met with members of the campaign at the Scottish Labour Party conference at the weekend, including from the South of Scotland.
The WASPI Campaign was founded in 2015 and is fighting for justice for all women born in the 1950s (on or after 6 April 1950 to 5 April 1960) affected by the changes to the State Pension Age (SPA).
The 1995 Conservative Government’s State Pension Act included plans to increase women’s state pension age from 60 to 65 so that it was the same as men.
Because of the way the increases were brought in, millions of women have been treated unfairly and unequally just because of the day they were born.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of women are suffering financial hardship, with not enough time to re-plan for retirement.
With no other source of income (until the 1990s many women weren’t allowed to join company pension schemes) securing work is proving impossible and zero contract hours or Job Seekers’ Allowance is the only alternative for many.
Colin Smyth said: “The Conservative Government has failed those women who were born in the 1950s and left many in financial difficulties, exacerbating pensioner’s poverty across Scotland.
“A report from the Ombudsman released last year vindicated the claims and campaigns of WASPI women and outlined the maladministration and failings of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in communicating changes to women’s State Pension age.
“Despite having identified there was more it could do, the DWP failed to provide the public with as full information as possible. They failed to make a reasonable decision about next steps in August 2005 and failed to use feedback to improve service design and delivery.
“Scottish Labour has worked closely with WASPI women and we will continue to stand with them in their fight for justice and recompense for the losses and insecurity they have suffered.
“Many people may think that the WASPI women’s campaign has been lost but far from it. They are more determined than ever to right this wrong and I’d urge everyone to support their efforts
“I would encourage people to go online and find out more through www.waspiscotland.uk or join a local WASPI group to help keep the fight going.”