A CAMPAIGN group protesting changes to the pension age for women brought their fight to Cirencester on Saturday (October 8).
Members of Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) were camped on Dyer Street for over an hour collecting signatures for part of a nationwide petition which will be presented to the House of Commons tomorrow (October 11).
The changing of the pension age for women from 63 to 66, to be put in place in October 2020, was done with little to no notice by the Government, according to the group, with protests aiming to bring about a ‘transitional payment’ to women born after April 6, 1951 to help bridge the gap until state pension age.
In a statement on the WASPI website, it says: “The aim of the campaign is to achieve fair and transitional state pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s (born on or after April 6, 1951).
“This translates into a ‘bridging’ pension to cover the gap from age 60 until state pension age (SPA) – not means-tested and with compensation for losses for those women who have already reached their SPA.
“There are no specific age groups within the period mentioned above that are favoured above others.”
Maud Lomberg, of WASPI Gloucestershire and Cotswolds, said the branch has collected more than 1,200 signatures from appearances in Gloucester, Stroud and then Cirencester.
She said: “We did really well on Saturday, collecting plenty of signatures and now we are just hoping that our MPs will fight our cause.”
Ms Lomberg, 60, who runs a small vintage textile business, said changes were made too quickly and did not allow for ‘proper provisions’ to be made, particularly for those self-employed.
“We really feel us women have been shafted by the government,” she said. “We were not given the chance to make proper provisions.
“The people of Cirencester showed incredible amounts of support on Saturday, especially the women effected.”
She said that her branch has a strong social media presence but members are keen to reach as many people as possible.
“The problem is, many of the women effected don’t use Facebook, necessarily. We need as much media help as we can get so people know about the cause.”
She said WASPI needs ‘more proactive members on board’ as the campaign moves forward.
#waspi I've never been so angry in my life but the complete lack of respect & fairness by this government towards 50's women leaves me irate— Elasaid (@Silverdistel53) October 10, 2016