South Scotland MSP Emma Harper who, since 2017 has championed the Women Against State Pension Inequality – WASPI – Campaign across Dumfries and Galloway, holding surgeries, information events and lobbying the UK Government, has again raised the important issue which has still not been resolved. The Pension Changes issue created by the UK Government predominantly affects women born after April 1950 who have reached state pension age before April 2016, and who have missed out on pension funds worth up to £33,280.
Women born after April 1950 are now required to work until they are 65 years old but could miss out on thousands of pounds as they are only eligible for the old state pension. While women born after 1953 are working until they are 65, they qualify for the new basic state pension which is £168.60 but those born after April 1950 and reaching their state pension age before April 2016 have endured working for longer and are now receiving the lower pension rate of £129.20, missing out on £40 each week.
The South Scotland MSP has, this week (02/09/20), called on the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to take urgent action and end the inequality which over 6,000 of her constituents in Dumfries and Galloway have endured for years.
Commenting, Ms Harper said:
“I will continue to lobby on behalf of the 6000 women across Dumfries and Galloway who are still adversely affected by the Tories’ decades long failure to address the injustice to my constituents who have been robbed of money which is rightfully theirs to the potential tune of over £33,000 each.
“During the WASPI events I’ve held in Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie and Portpatrick, I’ve heard from women across the region who are affected and I’ve been actively supporting their struggle for fairness.
“I am calling on the UK Government’s Work and Pensions Secretary – Terese Coffey – to do the right thing for gender equality and my South Scotland constituents – and to right this historic wrong by supporting a full impact assessment to fairly compensate these women for their losses. A vote in the House of Commons received unanimous cross-party support calling on the UK Government to do this – and yet the Conservatives continue to sit on their hands.
“The SNP and I have long fought for the UK Government to rectify this shambles and give these women the pension they rightfully deserve and we will continue to do so.”
For more information on WASPI go to www.waspi.co.uk