Pension protest at council HQ

Lynne Craighead from Burnmouth is one of many women born in the 1950s who posted letters of complaint last week to the Department of Work and Pensions about lack of communication on changes to entitlement dates.

Lynne Craighead from Burnmouth is one of many women born in the 1950s who posted letters of complaint last week to the Department of Work and Pensions about lack of communication on changes to entitlement dates.

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Women born in the 1950s angry about changes made to their state pension age are taking their fight to council headquarters.

WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) are holding demonstrations across Britain on Friday, September 16, to raise awareness of this issue and Burnmouth’s Lynne Craighead will be among those protesting outside Scottish Borders Council headquarters in Newton St Boswells.

The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase Women’s State Pension Age to 65, the same as men’s. WASPI agrees with this equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way in which the changes were implemented.

The change, affecting women born after April 6, 1951, was to be phased in over 10 years starting in 2010 and in 2009 the DWP began to write to individuals affected. To date, a huge number of people have still not been contacted.

In 2011, Chancellor George Osborne increased the pension age again with an accelerated timetable - which has had devastating consequences for the retirement plans of thousands of women.

At a mass demonstration and lobby of MPs at Westminster in June, MP Calum Kerr, was one of many MPs to show their full support for this campaign, which affects around 4,500 women in the Borders, and the local group tabled a motion with Scottish Borders Council who has also agreed to support the campaign.