Stuart McDonald, MP for Cumbernauld Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, marked International Women’s Day by re-pledging his support for the Women Against State Pension Against Inequality (WASPI) campaign as activists from round the country visited Westminster.
UK Government proposals to bring women’s retirement age in line with men’s by 2020 were fast tracked in 2011. However, many women were given very little and often no notice at all of the proposed changes. They will now receive their pension much later than expected with no opportunities to plan accordingly.
WASPI campaigners say they are not against equalisation of the State Pension Age and are instead demanding that transitional arrangements are put in place in order to protect those that have been disadvantaged as a result of the UK Governments proposals.
To coincide with the Chancellor’s Spring Budget, WASPI women from across the UK joined a protest outside the Houses of Parliament. Mr McDonald met with Kirkintilloch campaigner, Mairi Johnston, to show his support and pledged to ‘call on the government to implement fair transitional arrangements for WASPI women affected by the State Pension Age changes’.
Figures obtained by Mr McDonald from the House of Commons Library show that around 4000 women in the local area are expected to be affected by these changes.
Commenting Stuart McDonald MP said:
“The UK Government’s proposals show a complete betrayal of trust and thousands of women in my constituency have been badly let down.
“The Government have failed to honour the contract that was made with them and, after paying into the system for decades, women born in the 1950s have been shocked to find that the goal posts have shifted – with no chance to plan accordingly.
“The Chancellor’s Spring Budget was a chance to correct this injustice but the Tory Government have failed to act and allow these women access to the pensions they have rightfully earned.
“The SNP group at Westminster will continue to support the WASPI campaign in their on-going efforts to ensure that women across the UK do not lose out as a result of the UK Government’s proposals”