waspiAround 7,000 local women born after 1951 are set to lose on pension entitlement due to a failure of the Westminster Government  to notify women of changes to National Insurance regulations for 14 years after the change occurred.

Local women activists helped form the campaign group, WASPI who, working through local MP, John McNally were part of a lobby of the UK parliament. The group have raised the profile of the issue and sought the support of Falkirk Council through a motion moved by SNP Group Leader, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn.

Their hopes that the Labour / Tory Administration would join the lobby of Westminster were to be dashed as former council leader Linda Gow rose to her feet to announce that they would not support the motion.

Instead of demanding justice for the women losing out on years of payments into the pension pot at Westminster, Cllr Gow looked embarrassed as she read out an amendment that called on the Scottish Government to remedy the situation through the Scottish Budget.

Falkirk North Labour Councillor, Craig R Martin claimed Labour had included provision of £30 million in their 2016 manifesto and called on the Scottish Government to match this.

The full cost of resolving the matter with an estimated 252,000 Scottish women involved is expected to be around £1.6 billion for Scottish pensioners thus demonstrating the Labour members were completely unaware of the facts when they determined their position before the council meeting.

Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn summed up the case for the WASPI members saying:

“If ever a motion should have received unanimous support of all parties within Falkirk Council it would have been this one.

However Labour’s dislike of the SNP is greater than any commitment to support local people who have been badly treated by the Westminster Government.

I am sure that the WASPI members who were present in the chambers for the morning session of the last council meeting will be devastated by Labour’s lack of support for their case.

Expectations of the two Tories in Falkirk doing the decent thing and supporting the campaign were not high but it is a sad indictment of the modern day Labour Party that their loyalty to their Westminster partners is greater than their any loyalty to local victims.

Women have paid into the pension pot for decades only to be told that the pension they expected to receive at age 60 will not now be available to them and they will lose around 6 years worth of pension payments.  This equates to around £14,000 per person.

Labour wants the Scottish Government to take on the burden of paying this, citing the new benefit powers given to them.  However they seem unaware that pensions are not benefits and those pensions are still reserved to the UK Government.

I am not sure why Labour believes that Westminster should be able to collect and keep the payments from these women but the Scottish Government should pay out the pensions – it makes no sense at all.”

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  1. Judi Hart says:

    “This equates to a loss of around £14,000 per person”!?? For £14,000 read £48,000!!!
    This is equivalent to investing in a savings account all your working life, from age 15, only to find some b****rd emptied it of £48,000 and tells you to make up the shortfall over the next 6 years, if you can survive that long. Labour Councillors playing the same game as Tory Ministers at the recent SNP debate in the House. Voting not against WASPI, but against the kids in the other gang! This is people’s lives you’re playing with for Godsakes!

    • Jim McGill says:

      You are spot on, even a poor accountant or mathematician could work that one out! Where the hell did the paltry sum of £14,000 come from as that equates to only about £44 per week if they lose just six years entitlement. Why has there not been a much bigger stink about this and have women all been hypnotised?
      Was it Blair that put the initial wheels in motion as he was lining his own pockets?

  2. June Wyper says:

    I have been following some of the debates on the pension debate and one in particular a few days ago where the DWP Minister was in attendance. I have to say his responses were nothing short of patronising and totally dismissive of the plight of women born in the works who have missed out twice on their State Pension Date. He had the gall to say that if women found themselves in a position with no money he would find them work until they got their pension. He also said women could choose to work in if they so desired. What employers would consider employing 60+ women in their work force. It was argued that women born at this timd have worked for 40+ plus years, have brought up their families, involved in the upbrining of grandchildren and looking after elderly parents as well as each other and saving the Government a considerable amount of money. We have supposed to be living in a world of equality yet this is not the case! Before the demise of David Cameron and George Osborne they both stated at a meeting that no-one who was affected by the change in date would ever be more than 18 months from their date when they should have received their State Pension, not a benefit but an entitlement. The Prime Minister gave a similar statement recently with regard to not being more than 18 months from State Pension Date. We have paid into this scheme for 40+ years, more than you need to be eligible for State Pension yet we provide benefits to people who have not contributed one penny yet receive every benefit in kind. The Government can find money for foreign aid and waste money on their pet projects, they claim to listen to the people in the name of democracy yet they ignore the very people who have contributed and are still contributing all their working lives. Someone has to take responsibility for this whole debacle. Please do the right thing and stop trying to shift the blame.

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