The 35,000 women in Suffolk born in the 1950s and suffering from unfair changes in state pension age have gained the full support of Suffolk County Council.
A cross-party motion calling on the Council to support the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign, proposed by Labour Cllr Mandy Gaylard and seconded by Lib Dem Cllr Caroline Page, was passed unanimously at a council meeting on 7 December 2017. The Interim Chief Executive of Suffolk County Council will now write a letter of support for the WASPI campaign, highlighting the heart-breaking injustices these women have faced and the need for transitional arrangements.
As Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Spokesperson for Women, Councillor Page is determined to publicly champion the causes of women across the county. The WASPI campaign has been working tirelessly for years to raise awareness of the suffering that has been caused by a lack of fair transitional arrangements for women, and has been gaining traction in local authorities across the country. Cllr Page commented:
“I am proud to support the efforts of the WASPI campaign, and applaud them on their resilience and determination to make their case heard. Suffolk County Council has a responsibility to support these women in any way it can.
As a woman born in the 1950s and a full-time carer, I am all too aware of the problems that these women face. The odds for women being an unpaid carer is 1 in 2 of 59 year olds. Men don’t achieve these odds until they are 75 years old. This means that the change in pension age has unfairly impacted on a cohort of women that both the state and their family have relied on to give up careers and occupational pensions to become carers. Many women made this decision because they were promised an earlier state pension. They are now facing years without an income, purely because the government failed in its duty to keep them fully informed.”
Cllr Caroline Page is the first and only Spokesperson for Women in Suffolk County Council. Upon her appointment as Spokesperson for Women in July 2017, Cllr Page stated:
“Without a woman to speak up for equality in the Suffolk administration – what happens to it? It is ‘assumed’ as existing without existing. The funding gets lost because the issue has no direct relevance to the men in charge – and the whole county suffers.”
The full text of the motion read as follows:
“This Council believes the Government should make fair and transitional state pension arrangements for the 34,000 Suffolk women born in the 1950’s, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with lack of appropriate notification.
This Council requests the Interim Chief Executive write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions calling on the government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women.”