Mhairi Black, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, has today taken part in the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament.
She is demanding that the Government commits to new, fairer, transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s, who have been disproportionately affected by rapid rises in the state pension age.
Mhairi Black has consistently called for action from the Government, speaking on the issue many times including securing and leading a backbench business debate on the issue which received cross-party support.
Mhairi has also used her position on the Work and Pensions Select Committee to question Government Ministers about this issue, as well as playing a key role in securing a recommendation that the UK Government should introduce transitional measures for women born in the 1950s and affected by increases to the state pension age in the Committee Report “Communication of State Pension Age Changes” which was published earlier this year.
Mhairi Black MP said: “At my first surgery shortly after I was elected one of the first constituents I met with was affected by the unfair State Pension equalisation arrangements.
“After digging deeper into the issue and discovering that up to 3810 of my constituents are affected I was truly appalled. Since then so many women have been in contact with me to share their stories, and it is clear that the Government must take action.
“It was great that some women had travelled from Renfrewshire, as well as so many Scottish women who came to the demonstration, including some from Dumfries and Galloway who brought their own banner.
“When we gathered in Westminster today it was to send an important message to the UK government that we will not give up until we achieve justice for the women who have had their retirement plans shattered due to the rapid rises in the state pension age.
“The SNP agrees with pension equalisation but we cannot support the deeply unfair manner in which the changes were made – first in 1995 and exacerbated in 2011. It is morally reprehensible that many thousands of my constituents will actually lose out financially as a result of changes that were designed to make pensions more equal.
“A pension is a contract, not a benefit so we must have transitional arrangements for these 1950s-born women who have worked hard all their lives and have contributed to the UK economy.”