Plaid Cymru pledges solidarity with women affected by unfair pension reforms


Leader and MP write open letter to thank WASPI for their tireless campaign.

The Leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood and MP for Ceredigion Ben Lake, have today written to the WASPI campaign praising their ‘inspirational example’ of grassroots campaigning.

In the letter Leanne Wood, AM for Rhondda and Ben Lake, MP for Ceredigion have committed their firm support for the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign, pledging “to do all we can to help ensure a fair deal for women affected”.

WASPI has been campaigning against the Westminster Government’s handling of the equalisation of state pension age which has shattered women’s retirement plans with devastating consequences.

Plaid Cymru and WASPI both firmly support the equalisation of the state pension age. There are however, much fairer ways to go about it- in 2016 Plaid Cymru passed a motion at their annual conference opposing the changes and calling on the UK Government to change course.

Leanne Wood AM and Ben Lake MP have praised the campaign and committed their support to help WASPI reach their aim to achieve fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law (1995/2011 Acts).

Commenting, Plaid Cymru Leader,Leanne Wood said:

“We can all learn a lot from the WASPI campaign. What started as a small group of 5 women, has turned into a movement attracting international support, championing the rights of women who have been cruelly effected by this callous act of Tory injustice.

“This campaign is important and WASPI have been successful in getting the message out there – Theresa May, we will not stop until you make provisions for those women and families affected.

“As a Party, Plaid Cymru has stood with WASPI every step of the way. In 2016, we passed a motion at our annual conference opposing the changes and calling on the UK Government to change course. Our MPs have raised the issue several times in Westminster, which has included calling on the UK Government to put in place transitional arrangements for WASPI women, including phasing in the changes, and a bridging pension and compensation for those affected to cover the period between age 60 and the new state pension age. We are proud to continue to support WASPI and pledge to help in any way we can.”

MP for Ceredigion, Ben Lake said:

“It has been a privilege to work with the WASPI campaign, a movement which is so honourable and necessary. It is important that we keep this important issue in the political dialogue; that we keep pushing the UK Government to change course and ensure proper recompense for the women and families affected.

“Women in Wales have been particularly hit by the unfair process of equalising the state pension age, as life expectancy in Wales is lower on average than in England, as is income per head. While we completely agree that state pension age should be equal, it is simply not justifiable to pull the carpet from beneath the feet of women who have worked hard, paid their taxes and planned for their retirement, leaving them at times in dire situations.

“The UK Government can no longer ignore the voices of the millions of women affected by this issue. I am proud to pledge my support for the WASPI campaign and join in their call for the Prime Minister to take decisive action.”


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