Solent Waspi group hold march to raise awareness

WOMEN were shown support as they continue their fight against pension inequality.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 10:30 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:06 pm

Members of the Solent branch of Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) held a march last week.

With banners, posters and fliers, the group were raising awareness of changes to state pension age which they say could see women lose thousands of pounds in their pension.

And throughout the march, held last Friday, members of the public showed their support.

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Carolyne Jacobs, a joint coordinator for Solent Waspi, said: ‘We were very pleased with the response; people were positive and supportive.

‘Many people stopped to find out more and take flyers and cards.’

As previously reported in The News, the Solent Waspi group, which has members from Portsmouth, Gosport, Fareham and surrounding areas, is trying to lobby the government about changes to state pensions.

They want transitional or compensation payments for the women affected who were born in the 1950s.

Nationally, Waspi say 3.5m women are affected which includes 116,000 women in Hampshire.

Shelagh Simmons, the group’s other joint coordinator, added: ‘We still find women who are totally unaware that the state pension age is no longer 60 and we met some on Friday in Romsey.

‘Waspi agrees with the equalisation of state pension age but we take issue with the mismanagement of the process, which has caused great distress and hardship.’

During the event, the group unveiled a Solent Waspi Roll of Honour with the names of 31 parliamentary candidates in the area who have signed their pledge.

If elected, the candidates who signed pledged to: ‘Support Waspi and to work in parliament to find a solution for the women affected.’

Carolyne said: ‘3.5m women have lost out, unfairly, because of the maladministration of pension changes introduced by successive governments.

‘Our votes could significantly impact the election results and we hope that our event in Romsey will ensure that our local general election candidates here and all around our region will sit up and take notice.’