East Dunbartonshire MSPs renew support for WASPI campaigners at demo

EAST Dunbartonshire’s Members of the Scottish Parliament have pledged their support to the WASPI campaign.

Gil Paterson and Rona Mackay attended the demonstration outside parliament held by Women Against State Pension Increase on Thursday, October 3.

The MSPs reiterated their support for the women, who face shattered retirement plans due to the UK Government increasing the state pension age for women born in the 1950s.

Mr Paterson said: “I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the WASPI women outside the Scottish Parliament. The independent report into the increase of the state pension age shows thousands of women in East Dunbartonshire are going to be affected to varying degrees. The UK Government needs to act and stop this great injustice.”

Ms Mackay said: “The WASPI women are some of the most inspirational people I have met – I was privileged to be among their company outside the parliament. We need to support them as much as possible, because thousands of women across the UK have had their retirement plans shattered by the sudden change in state pension age.”

The Pensions Act 2011 enacted by the UK Government accelerated the timetable for increases in women’s State Pension Age (SPA). Women’s SPA will rise from 63 to 65 between April 2016 and November 2018, and from 65 to 66 by October 2020.

Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) has been at the heart of raising the profile of the issue. Its members ask for a ‘bridging’ pension to cover the gap from age 60 until State Pension Age for women born in the 50s.

The majority of those impacted in West Dunbartonshire are the 2,600 women age 56 to 60 born between 1955 to 1959.

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Rona Mackay was elected in May 2016 with a 8,100 majority in Strathkelvin and Bearsden.

Prior to this, she was a journalist in national newspapers for more than 20 years, before becoming Parliamentary Assistant to Clydebank and Milngavie MSP Gil Paterson, with whom she worked for nine years before becoming elected.

 

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