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Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News

MORAY MP: 'INDEPENDENT PENSIONS COMMISSION NEEDED TO INVESTIGATE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT PLANS'

13/01/2016  

MANY MORAY WOMEN AFFECTED BY LACK OF PROPER TRANSITIONAL PLAN

Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the the UK Government must set up an independent commission to investigate how changes to the state pension will affect both men and women.

The Westminster MP for Moray has received numerous letters, especially from women, who have serious concerns over the impact of the changes which are taking place over too short a timeframe to allow those affected to make alternative pension arrangements.

The SNP’s Mr Robertson has raised concerns over pension changes at Prime Minister’s Questions while the SNP’s Mhairi Black MP has presented a motion in the House of Commons on the issue.

Angus Robertson MP commented:

“This issue here is not whether men and women should have the same pension age - that is something I agree with, however Government’s should not be making major changes to pension age and arrangements with putting in place fair and reasonable transitional arrangements.

“People plan their pensions decades in advance and major changes need to reflect that very long-term financial planning that is inherent in preparing for retirement.

“A petition by the WASPI Campaign, which has been supported by many women in Moray, calls on the UK Government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s and has attracted more than 100,000 signatures.  

“Asking older women to return to work to make ends meet, after their retirement plans have been shattered by state pension age rises, simply isn’t fair and in many cases is not possible through ill-health or care commitments.

“The SNP fully support equalisation but now, more than ever, it is absolutely vital that the same mistakes are not repeated which is why the UK Government should establish an independent pensions commission to fully investigate the effects of the pension reforms.

“There has been a complete failure to address a lifetime of low pay and inequality faced by many women born in the 1950s and now women are at risk of further hardship under the new pension system.

“The SNP has demonstrated that there is a very clear cross-party view that transitional arrangements must be introduced and the Tories need to act now to ensure that pension reforms do not put future generations at a disadvantage.”

“Pensions are not benefits, they are contracts which women born in the 1950s entered into aged 17 but fundamentally the 2011 Pensions Act represents a broken contract.

“There needs to be better transitional arrangements for these women and I urge the Tory government to act now."

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