Tory MSPs urged to sign Scottish WASPI pledge to pay Ayrshire women what they are owed

Women born in the 1950s deserve fair compensation for the changes made to their state pensions, says an Ayr MSP.

Ayr MSP Siobhian Brown has renewed calls for the UK Government to pay women born in the 1950s what they are owed, after changes left them with an additional six-year wait before receiving their state pensions.

This saw around 5,000 women lose out on £8,000 each for approximately six years in South Ayrshire alone.

“That’s £40m a year lost from the local economy and £240m over six years,” said Ms Brown.

Many women affected said the UK Government did not give enough warning of changes they introduced.

And last year the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman confirmed the Department of Work and Pensions ‘did not get it right’ in making women aware of these changes since 2005, which mounted to ‘maladministration.’

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign to help women hit by these changes has been boosted by cross-party support and includes an endorsement from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Siobhian Brown MSP, who is Co-Convenor of the WASPI cross-party group, said: “This money belongs to the women who have paid their national insurance and taxes their whole lifetime.

“It is not only an injustice to the WASPI women but ultimately to the Scottish economy as this money remains under UK govt control and not in Scotland.

“It’s high time these women were given proper compensation and quickly to correct this gross injustice.

“I am urging women affected by this to write to their local Conservative MSP and ask them to demand the Tory Government in Westminster make this right.

“This money could come from the Leveling-Up Fund.

“The damage is done for many of these women and sadly some will never see justice, but we must keep fighting.

“My goal is to see this money in the hands of the women who deserve it.”

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Frances Brown, Joint Coordinators of the Ayrshire WASPI Group, is calling on affected women to sign and send the compiled template letter to their local Tory MSP, encouraging them to “do the right thing” by signing the Scottish WASPI pledge.

She added: “Please send the letter and help our cause.”

The letter is available by contacting [email protected] or [email protected]

A DWP spokesperson said: “The Government decided over 25 years ago that it was going to make the state pension age the same for men and women as a long-overdue move towards gender equality.

“Both the High Court and Court of Appeal have supported the actions of the DWP, under successive governments dating back to 1995, and the Supreme Court refused the claimants permission to appeal.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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