Opperman is ambushed!

Guy Opperman MP meets local Berwickshire WASPI members.
Guy Opperman MP meets local Berwickshire WASPI members.

Members of the Scottish Borders WASPI group joined others from the Northumberland and Newcastle groups to attend a fair held in Hexham last week.

Guy Opperman, Conservative MP for Hexham, and who organised the fair, had suggested during one of the pension debates at Westminster that some of the women already in their 60s and who are the worst affected, could get apprenticeships.

The ladies who attended claim they were not taken seriously in terms of having to work on into ages when they expected to retire.

The ladies were determined to speak to Guy Opperman who finally agreed to meet two representatives.

Despite more than 8000 maladministration complaints to the DWP now languishing in a backlog awaiting further investigation by the Independent Case Examiner, Mr Opperman continued to insist that women received letters notifying them of the changes.

The WASPI members allege that letters were not sent out following the first Act, which made pension age changes in 1995, for 14 years. This process was halted as a further increase was made in the 2011 Act. The latter resulted in women born after 1953 only being informed of a six year increase to their state pension age two years before their 60th birthdays.

When asked about the claim made by other MPs that there was a surplus in the National Insurance fund, Mr Opperman told the ladies, “the National Insurance fund is not for your pension”.