- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Pembrokeshire women campaigning against unfair changes to their pensions met at Haverfordwest’s Picton Centre on Saturday (16 September).
The meeting of Pembrokeshire WASPI – Women Against State Pension Inequality – was attended by politicians Joyce Watson AM and Carolyn Harris, the MP for Swansea East and Chair of the WASPI All Party Parliamentary Group.
The group is fighting on behalf of women born in the 1950s (on or after April 6, 1951) whose retirement plans have been disrupted by changes to the retirement age.
The 1995 Conservative government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s State Pension Age from 60 to 65, the same as men’s. The proposal was to phase in that change from 2010 to 2020. However, the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government of 2010 decided to accelerate the timetable; under the 2011 Pensions Act the new qualifying age of 65 for women was bought forward to 2018.
WASPI agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented, with little or no notice and faster than promised.
Joyce Watson AM said:
“Last year Pembrokeshire WASPI and I had a meeting with Stephen Crabb MP. As a former work and pensions secretary, we asked for his support. He dismissed the campaign.
“Our message today is loud and clear: WASPI is not going away. Hundreds of thousands of women – and their families – have been caught out, unable to prepare financially for old age. The Conservative government cannot continue to duck this injustice.”
Other attendees included Wales WASPI co-ordinators Jocelyn Morgan, Dilys Jouvenant and Kay Ann Clarke, and Pembrokeshire County Councillor Tom Tudor, who has called on Pembrokeshire Council to lobby the UK government on the issue.