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MHAIRI BLACK DELIVERS WASPI PETITIONS TO WESTMINSTER

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TORIES MUST INTRODUCE TRANSITIONAL MEASURES FOR WOMEN BORN IN THE 1950s

Mhairi Black, and her SNP Westminster colleagues, have delivered dozens of petitions on behalf of their constituents calling on the UK Government to take immediate action to help the millions of women whose retirement plans have been shattered by rapid increases to the State Pension Age.

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The 1995 Pensions Act legislated to bring the state pension age for women in line with the age for men over two decades but the 2011 Pensions Act rapidly accelerated the original timetable and the 2.6 million women effected by the changes – born in the 1950s – were not informed.

The UK Government has so far refused to act, claiming that transitional measures would cost £30billion but independent research commissioned by the SNP has found that it would cost significantly less to help these women at £8 billion.

The Renfrewshire Women Against State Pension Inequality group have provided a petition with many signatures, calling for action from the UK Government, which Mhairi has lodged in Parliament. The petitions will be presented in the House of Commons chamber before being sent to the UK Government for a formal response.

Mhairi Black MP said:

“Around 3800 women, in my constituency alone, have been unfairly hit by the rapid rises to the State Pension Age and as a result their retirement plans have been shattered. There are 8100 women in Renfrewshire affected as a whole.

“The Renfrewshire WASPI group has gathered many signatures, which shows the strength of feeling behind this urgent call to the UK Government to provide support for the women affected by these changes.

“No-one is arguing against the equalisation of the State Pension Age however, these women have paid National Insurance contributions and are due their pension – it is not a benefit but a contract that the UK Government has broken.

“The Tories must do the right thing and listen to the voices of all the WASPI women. By using the surplus in the National Insurance Fund for transitional measures the Tories can afford to provide relief and dignity in retirement for millions of women.”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has also delivered a petition on behalf of his constituents which calls on the UK Government to take immediate action to help the millions of women whose retirement plans have been shattered by rapid increases to the State Pension Age.

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The 1995 Pensions Act legislated to bring the state pension age for women in line with the age for men over two decades but the 2011 Pensions Act rapidly accelerated the original timetable and the 2.6 million women effected by the changes – born in the 1950s – were not informed.

The UK Government has so far refused to act, claiming that transitional measures would cost £30billion but independent research commissioned by the SNP has found that it would cost significantly less to help these women at £8 billion.

Local Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) groups have gathered thousands of signatures from their local areas in support of their petition, calling for action from the UK Government, which SNP MPs have lodged in parliament.  The petitions will be presented in the House of Commons chamber before being sent to the UK Government for a formal response.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Around 2.6 million women – including 8,000 women in Renfrewshire – have been unfairly hit by the rapid rises to the State Pension Age and as a result their retirement plans have been shattered.

“I worked alongside the local WASPI group in my constituency to collect signatures which calls on the UK Government to take immediate action to help those affected. The fact that other MPs did the same shows the strength of feeling behind this campaign.

“The Tories must do the right thing and listen to the voices of all the WASPI women.  The Tories can no longer hide from this answer. They should correct their mistakes and provide relief and dignity in retirement for the millions of women who have been affected.”