Over 5,000 women in our constituency have been affected by these unfair changes, many of whom are now struggling financially as a result. Despite paying year after year into their pension, women are having to wait up to an extra two and a half years before they can retire. To make matters worse, successive Governments have failed to tell them about the changes or give them adequate time to plan for their future.
Whilst we all accept that changing patterns of life expectancy often require a response from Government, the manner in which these changes have been introduced is deeply unfair and has angered those affected. For months we, as an SNP group, have been asking the Government to take action, to right this wrong – and time and time again they tell us there is no money.
This rhetoric is deeply disrespectful to our pensioners. In short, this Government is telling 2.6 million women that there isn’t enough money to honour their contract with Government against a backdrop of millions of tax payer’s money be spent on Syrian Airstrikes, a multi-billion restoration project of the parliament and an eye-watering £167 billion to be spent on an obsolete Trident weapons system.
As my colleague, Ian Blackford, (SNP Westminster Pensions Spokesperson) points out, this SNP commissioned report does the Government’s job for them. For £8 billion over 5 years they can choose to put an end to this injustice – a cost that pales in comparison to that spent on weapons of mass destruction. It’s time for the Government to do the right thing by these women.
On October 11th I will, along with other MPs, be presenting a WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign petition to Parliament. I urge you to sign the petition and get behind the 5,000 women in our constituency who have been let down badly by the UK Government. The group have already done an online petition so this time are focusing on paper petitions. You can sign the petition at my office at 110 Church Street, Inverness and over the next week I will be asking businesses and communities to help me get as many signatures as possible. If you can take a petition sheet to get signatures email me on [email protected] or pop in to my office to collect a copy. You can also download a copy at: http://www.waspi.co.uk/action