WASPI group is heading down to Westminster

The Berwick WASPI group was well represented at the protest at the Houses of Parliament last year.
The Berwick WASPI group was well represented at the protest at the Houses of Parliament last year.

Women from across Northumberland will be travelling to a mass demonstration in London next Wednesday to protest the lack of information given to them about their pensions.

The March 8 event coincides with both the Government’s Spring Budget and International Women’s Day.

Women from all over the county are members of the national Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.

Jane Cowley, a coordinator of the Berwick-upon-Tweed WASPI group, explained that in 1995, the Government changed the law so that the age at which a woman could receive a state pension would move in line with men to 65.

Jane said: “Of course, we support bringing about equality in pensions between men and women.

“But the problem is that the Government didn’t inform women when they made the change in 1995.

“Then, in 2011, the Coalition Government decided that the new pension age of 65 would be brought in two years earlier in 2018 and for both sexes, it would rise to 66 in 2020. Again many women weren’t informed of this change either.

“We are still meeting women across Northumberland who genuinely believe they will get their pension at 60. The lack of notice has caused real problems, not allowing women time to plan for their later retirement and pushing many into financial hardship.”

Undeterred by the 700-mile round trip, members of the Northumberland WASPI group will be setting off early to meet with their fellow campaigners opposite the Houses of Parliament and join the demonstration, which will be followed by a mass lobby of MPs, including Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

The protest organisers say they will be making enough noise to be heard in the Commons Chamber while the Chancellor is delivering his Budget speech.