Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News




Moray’s Westminster MP Angus Robertson has delivered the local WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) campaign petition to Westminster, where the over 1,100 signatures from Moray have been combined with tens of thousands from all over Scotland and the UK.

Local MP Mr Robertson, who recently joined Moray WASPI campaigners on Elgin High Street says the Tories must introduce transitional pension measures for women born in the 1950s.

The MP and Westminster SNP Leader was joined by other Scottish National Party MPs, who have delivered dozens of petitions on behalf of their constituents calling on the UK Government to take immediate action to help the millions of women whose retirement plans have been shattered by rapid increases to the State Pension Age.

The 1995 Pensions Act legislated to bring the state pension age for women in line with the age for men over two decades but the 2011 Pensions Act rapidly accelerated the original timetable and the 2.6 million women affected by the changes – born in the 1950s – were not informed.

The UK Government has so far refused to act, claiming that transitional measures would cost £30billion but independent research commissioned by the SNP has found that it would cost significantly less to help these women at £8 billion. Meanwhile, the National Insurance Fund is projected to have a surplus of over £25 billion.

Local Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) groups have gathered thousands of signatures from their local areas in support of their petition, calling for action from the UK Government, which SNP MPs have lodged in parliament.  The petitions will be presented in the House of Commons chamber before being sent to the UK Government for a formal response.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“More than two and a half million women have been unfairly hit by the rapid rises to the State Pension Age and as a result their retirement plans have been shattered.

“In Moray alone the number of women affected is over 4,400, according to recent House of Commons Library statistics. That is a very significant number of women who have been treated shockingly by the UK Government.

“To make such major changes to these pensions with so short a notice is totally unacceptable and ignores the years of planning and contribution that require to go into pension planning.

“No-one is arguing against the equalisation of the State Pension Age however, these women have paid National Insurance contributions and are due their pension – it is not a benefit but a contract that the UK Government has broken.

“The Tories must do the right thing and listen to the voices of all the WASPI women.  By using the surplus in the National Insurance Fund for transitional measures the Tories can afford to provide relief and dignity in retirement for millions of women."