Suffolk County Council unanimously supports WASPI campaign

A cross party motion supporting the campaign led by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) has been unanimously passed at the Suffolk County Council meeting on 7th December 2017.

The motion called on the County Council to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to reconsider the transitional arrangements for equalisation of the pension age. The motion was proposed by Labour’s Cllr Mandy Gaylard and Seconded by Cllr Caroline Page of the Liberal Democrats.

The WASPI campaign is fighting the injustice done to women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law. Many of these women were not advised of the changes and made long-term financial decisions that have negatively impacted on their lives without full sight of the facts.

There are around 35,000 WASPI women in Suffolk. Each of those women has a different, but heart-breaking account of undertaking reasonable financial planning for older age only to be told that in many circumstances they have lost five years of their state pension.

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. This was too late for many of these women, some of whom had less than a year’s notice, if anything at all.

Cllr Gaylard said; “I am delighted that the whole chamber could come together as one to support this motion. I know this show of unanimity will be appreciated by the large number of WASPI supporters who made the effort to watch the debate from the public gallery. We thank them for their tireless work and look forward to helping them with the next stage of their very important campaign.”

 

The Motion read:

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 Mandy Gaylard, Spokesperson for Communities and Localities, St. Helen’s Division

Telephone 07714 597991 Email mandy.gaylard@suffolk.gov.uk

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