Local MPs Nia Griffith, Carolyn Harris and Stephen Kinnock joined campaigners from the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) on their mission to Cardiff to present to the Secretary of State for Wales a letter calling on the UK Government to look at fairer transition arrangements for those worst affected by the fast-forwarding of changes in the state pension age for women. The way that these changes are being implemented following the 2011 Pensions Act means that women born on or after 6th April 1951 are having to wait longer before they are entitled to their state pensions.
Women from across south and west Wales marched from the Senedd to the Wales Office at Caspian Point to deliver the letter to Alan Cairns MP, the Welsh Secretary, asking him to raise this issue with UK cabinet colleagues, on behalf of women in Wales.
Nia Griffith MP explained, “Friday’s event was about keeping up the pressure on Government Ministers and reminding them that we are not going away.”
“It is clear to me from what women have told me at the crowded meetings I have organised, that women are very angry about what is happening. It is right and proper that the state pension age should be equalised between men and women, but the appalling lack of notice has left some women in dire circumstances. We are putting pressure on the UK Government to come up with ways to soften the blow”
“As well as Friday’s event and the demonstration outside the UK Parliament in the summer, local women are also collecting signatures for what is set to be the largest group of MPs jointly presenting parliamentary petitions – which will take place on 11th October. All this should make the Government re-think.”
Copies of the petition can be downloaded from the WASPI website http://www.waspi.co.uk/. The hope is to gather as many signatures as possible for the parliamentary petition which will be presented on 11 October, so as to make a really big impact on the new Prime Minister. Please note this is a paper petition, so please return completed sheets to your local MP’s office.