Saturday, April 1, 2023

Carmarthenshire councillors back WASPI campaign

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has thrown its weight behind the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.

Councillors agreed to back 1950’s born women in Carmarthenshire who are affected by new state pension arrangements that mean many will have to work longer before they can retire.

The high-profile national campaign asks the Government to implement fair transitional pension arrangements for all women affected by the state pension laws.

A joint motion brought to council by Cllr Carl Harris and Cllr Tina Higgins, called on councillors to add their support to the campaign and recognise the hardship many women now face.

Around 10,000 Carmarthenshire women are said to be affected.

“We all know someone who is affected, and many of these are suffering financial hardship,” said Cllr Harris.

“The aim of the campaign is to achieve fair transitional arrangements. It’s important to note that 1950s born women are not asking for special treatment, but fair play. The state pension is not a benefit, it’s an entitlement for a lifetime of hard work.”

He added: “I’d like to pay tribute to WASPI women in Carmarthenshire who are working their socks off on this campaign.”

Cllr Tina Higgins said she was pleased to see the campaign had seen cross party consensus in Carmarthenshire and across Wales.

“For many women the decision to delay their pension has been a surprise to them,” she said.

“Many, due to ill health, are unable to work the extra years the government is asking them to. There are some women in this situation even resorting to using foodbanks.

“We must do everything we can to support the WASPI campaign.”

Leader of the council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, added: “I support the motion entirely. We are objecting to injustice.”

The full motion, agreed unanimously by council, stated:

That Carmarthenshire County Council

  • Recognises the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign;
  • Acknowledges that many Carmarthenshire women, born in the 1950’s, now face remarkable challenges in making ends meet;
  • Appreciates that the WASPI women don’t want the state pension age lowered, but instead want fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women affected by the state pension laws;
  • Resolves to support the WASPI campaign and make representations on behalf of Carmarthenshire women to the UK Government

Watch the full debate online:

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