At the 7 December Full Council, Labour Leader Sandra Gage will propose, and Liberal Democrat Women’s Spokesperson Caroline Page will second a Motion requiring the Council to write to the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, asking that the hurried, unfair roll-out of delayed state pension start date for women born between 1950 and 1959 should be reviewed immediately.
The first increase in women’s State Pension age was introduced by the Tory Government in its Pensions Act 1995. The Act legislated for women’s State Pension age to rise to 65 slowly between April 2010 and April 2020.
Then, in 2011 the coalition Government announced that the timetable would be speeded up, with women’s State Pension age rising to 65 by November 2018. Men and women’s pension age would then rise together to reach 66 by October 2020.
There are around 35,000 WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) women in Suffolk, and each has a different, often heart-breaking account of reasonable planning for older age shattered by a loss of an expected state pension for anything up to as much as five years. Women who are full-time carers, or had already left paid employment before these changes had been made public, are now facing years without any income. The promised advance notification to each of these women never took place, a mistake recognised in an Independent Review of the State Pension age, in March 2017, but this was too late for these women, some of whom had less than a years notice, if anything at all.
In Suffolk both Ipswich Borough and Waveney District Councils have voted, cross party, for this Motion, and there is a planned Parliamentary debate on 14 December on this issue. MP’s from across Suffolk are publicly supporting Suffolk WASPI women. Sandy Martin and Peter Aldous intend to take part in the debate on behalf of Suffolk women.
Cllr Sandra Gage, in proposing the Motion says ‘I am in admiration of the many thousands of women campaigning to reverse this wholly unfair, inhuman hasty withdrawal of their state pension. They have brought together the voices of women across the country, representing millions with dignity and determination. And what they ask for, I believe nobody can argue against; fair transitional state pension arrangements for all WASPI women.”
Cllr Mandy Gaylard, spokesperson for communities, says “over the past few years I have met women in Ipswich for whom this is a real concern. One home carer, who had helped elderly people all her working life, said to me she was planning to retire at 60 with her husband, only to learn that her retirement age had been extended, with no warning, to 65. I owe it to these women to speak up on their behalf.”
The Motion reads;
This Council believes the Government should make fair and transitional state pension arrangements for the 34,000 Suffolk women born in the 1950’s, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with lack of appropriate notification.
This Council requests the Interim Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions calling on the government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women.
Cllr Sandra Gage, Leader of Labour Group, Rushmere County and Borough Councillor
Telephone 07714 597998 email email@example.com
Cllr Mandy Gaylard, Spokesperson for Communities and Localities, St.Helens County Councillor
Telephone 07714 597991 email firstname.lastname@example.org