East Devon calls for Government to rethink ‘unfair’ state pension changes

WASPI campaigners and EDDC councillors calling for Government to rethink changes to the state pensio

WASPI campaigners and EDDC councillors calling for Government to rethink changes to the state pension age - Credit: Archant

WASPI campaigners gain unanimous support from district council in fight against ‘injustice to women’

Campaigners in Sidmouth and Ottery St Mary have gained overwhelming support in their fight against changes to state pensions which have been branded a ‘grave injustice to women’.

A motion calling on the Government to rethink its policy and introduce fair transitional arrangements received the unanimous backing of East Devon District Council (EDDC) at a meeting on Wednesday.

Members heard how many women born after 1951 have ‘unfairly borne the burden’ of the state pension age increase without proper notification, resulting in ‘dire financial hardship and often devastating consequences’.

Representatives of the campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) attended from Sidmouth, Ottery, Exmouth and Honiton and appealed to EDDC to help bring justice to the hundreds affected.

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Speaking at the meeting, WASPI’s Carol Bray said: “Had we been told sooner, we could have made different decisions along the way. I was horrified to get my letter – it has meant a loss of £36,000. Many women are suffering dire financial hardship. For those with a supporting partner, it is humiliating to ask for hand-outs.”

Councillor Andrew Moulding proposed the motion. He said: “Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences. These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their tax and national insurance with the expectation that they would be financially secure when reaching 60.”

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He clarified it is not the pension age increase itself in dispute, but that the rise for women was too rapid and happened without sufficient notice being given.

Cllr Eileen Wragg said: “I think it’s absolutely shameful the way these women have been treated. Can we not pressure our MPs to approach the Government to rethink this situation? As usual, it’s the most vulnerable and the weakest that have been affected, so we need a change of heart.”

Cllr Steve Gazzard was one of several others who expressed their support against what he called a ‘grave injustice to women’.

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