Why Sunderland is set for a ‘purple protest’ over pensions

Some of the members of the Newcastle, Wear and Tees group of  Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI).
Some of the members of the Newcastle, Wear and Tees group of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI).

Campaigners fighting for the penson rights of women are hoping people will support them in their colourful campaign.

Women from across the region will gather in Sunderland to light up the city centre in a purple glow.

They are finding themselves living on savings

Moira Scales

Members of WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) will be taking part in the event on Saturday, March 11, at 4pm, where Wearside’s Keel Square and Sunderland Magistrates’ Court will be lit purple in support of the campaign and to enable further awareness regarding state pension changes.

WASPI claims 2.6million women were affected by the lack of notice of the 1995 and 2011 Pensions Acts, which raised the pension age for women by up to six years.

They are campaigning against what they see as the injustice done to all women born in the 1950’s affected by the changes.

Moira Scales, a member of the regional branch of WASPI which includes women from Sunderland. Hartlepool and South Tyneside, said: “Women who have worked hard all of their lives, paid into the National Insurance scheme for 35-45 years, suffered inequalities in the workplace and did not have the luxuries of childcare and benefits of today, are being affected.

“We need to raise awareness to all ladies born in the 1950’s of the pension changes in 1995 and again in 2011. We need to promote this very worthwhile cause and help raise further awareness to this pension injustice and financial loss these women are facing.”

WASPI say women living in this region and born in the 1950’s may not yet be aware of the changes to State Pension Age and are still expecting to retire at aged 60, when in actual fact they are now having to wait a further six or seven years, which were not budgeted for.

Moira added: “Many are in situations where, through little or no communication from the Department of Work and Pensions regarding these changes, they are finding themselves living on savings or having to work six or seven more years.

“We are not against the equalisation of the State Pension age, but the speed the changes took place.”

WASPI is not campaigning for the reversal of the pension age for women, but for financial help, such as a transition pension, for those who were unable to make plans financially for a later retirement.

Some of the Newcastle, Wear and Tees group will be attending a WASPI demonstration in London on March 8, which coincides with Budget Day, to make their voices heard.

To find out more about the organisation visit www.waspi.co.uk.