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Local women fighting pension injustice were at Westminster this week where North Ayrshire and Arran MP Patricia Gibson led a three hour debate on Thursday night.
Mrs Gibson had secured the debate on the rise in state pension age for women born in the 1950s from 60 to 65. Lack of sufficient information and communication meant that many women did not find out about these changes until relatively recently, leaving them with little time to prepare.
The accelerated timetable for pension equalisation, set out in the 2011 Pensions Act hit women hard. Campaign group Waspi (Women against state pension inequality), estimate that 3.8 million women born in the 1950s must wait up to six years more to receive their state pension.
Mrs Gibson is the only MP who has spoken in every single Waspi debate and is determined to keep this issue on the agenda. Waspi Ltd groups from around the country, including members from the Ayrshire and Arran Waspi group, were at the debate.
Mrs Gibson said: ‘Women born in the 1950s justifiably and reasonably expected to benefit from their state pension when they reached 60. Not only has this been denied to them, as a result, household incomes for these women have fallen by 12 per cent and the poverty rate has gone up by 6.4 per cent, according to Age Scotland.
‘Many have been unable to continue working due to ill health, caring responsibilities or unemployment. In my North Ayrshire & Arran constituency 4,800 women have been affected and I have heard first-hand the hardship and difficulties many face as a direct result of these changes.
‘These women are simply asking the UK Government to pay out what they have paid in and what they have every right to receive. My debate keeps this issue on the agenda, as Waspi women continue fighting for a fair deal. My SNP colleagues and I will continue to work with them to secure pension justice,’ she added.
If you are a 1950`s born woman and would like to join the fight for your pensions then please contact the official Waspi group for Ayrshire and Arran at firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.