South Scotland

Women's pension rights protest staged in Kelso

Protest
Image caption The protest was held outside the Tait Hall in Kelso

A protest has been held in the Borders as part of a campaign for equal pension rights for women.

Some members of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) say they will lose thousands of pounds after the government increased the pension age.

The group gathered outside Kelso's Tait Hall - the venue for a pensions fair organised by MP John Lamont.

Clare Ramage, now an SNP councillor on Scottish Borders Council, said the women had a clear case.

The campaign group was set up in 2015 on behalf of millions of women born in the 1950s who since 1995 have twice seen the start date for their state pensions pushed back.

'Wrong information'

Ms Ramage said many people had struggled to get the right details about their own situation.

"Eight thousand letters went out initially with the wrong information from the Department for Work and Pensions," said Ms Ramage.

"And instead of sending out letters with the correct information they just stopped sending letters altogether.

"So where were we meant to find this information? The DWP should have contacted us to tell us what was going to happen."

She said the timing of the announcement of the second change to her state pension date had been particularly hard to take.

'Individual cases'

"To put the boot further in - in 2011, four years before I was actually retiring - they raised it again by two years," she added.

Conservative MP Mr Lamont said pension equality was something he supported.

"I think it is right that men and women get the pension at the same age - that is a policy that I support," he said.

"If people have had individual cases that they have brought to me I have pursued them with the minister if that is what the constituent has wanted me to do."

He said the Scottish government had new welfare powers which he claimed could be used to provide "other options" for women affected by the pension change.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites