Women Against Pension Inequality
There was an unusually larger public attendance at the recent NE Lincolnshire’s full council meeting held at Cleethorpes Town Hall. Several WASPI (Women Against Pension Inequality) women came along, adorned with sashes and banners, to hear the debate on Labour councillor Ros James’ motion seeking the council’s support for their campaign.
The aim of the Waspi campaign is to achieve fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the state pension by the 1995 and 2011 acts.
Cllr James told members, ” There are over 9000 women in N E Lincolnshire who have been affected by these pension changes and these women are in every member’s wards, they deserve justice, they deserve attention and they deserve a financially secure retirement.”
She also made it clear early on that Waspi women were not against pension equality, but took issue with the lack of notice that they had received – in some cases there being only 1 years notice – and many women reported not having received any notification at all and only finding out when they reached 60.
The consequences of this were that these women had little or scant time to make any necessary life changes or alternative plans for their retirement resulting in thousands of them being thrust into poverty.
Cllr James went on to tell members of 2 real life experiences of local women, detailing the hardships they had endured and are continuing to face. The final comment of Julie from Cleethorpes being “Honestly, I am exhausted both physically, emotionally and mentally.”
“These are real women, facing real hardships, who deserve real justice!” stated Cllr James.
Cllr Debbie Rodwell seconded the motion and reiterated the injustice these 1950s women are suffering pointing out how some women have had to sell their homes and of others facing homelessness.
All members across all parties who spoke on the motion were supportive and it was passed unanimously. The council will now write to government urging them to address the impact these pension changes have had on 1950s women.