Council office to light up purple in support of Women’s Pension campaign - McCallion

Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion with local members of WASPI NI.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Elisha McCallion with local members of WASPI NI.

Derry Council offices will be lit up purple tonight in support of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.

The move was requested by Foyle Sinn Fein MLA Elisha McCallion after she joined campaigners at a rally at Guildhall Square in Derry earlier today.

The WASPI campaign group was set up “to fight the injustice done to all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law (1995/2011 Acts)”.

The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s SPA (State Pension Age) to 65, the same as that for men.

Campaigners said that while they agree with the equalisation, they do not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented – with little or no personal notice, faster than promised, and with no time to make alternative plans.

The group has said that retirement plans have been “shattered with devastating consequences”.​

Under the plans, women born between April 1951 and 1960 may now not qualify for a pension until they reach 66.

Mrs. McLaughlin said: “Thousands of women born in the 1950s are particularly affected by these changes and many of the women are suffering financial hardship as a result of the changes that have been brought about by Westminster.”

She said that people who have been widowed or finding it difficult to access employment at an older age were particularly affected.

“What they are saying is there has been a lack of notification and in some cases they have had no notification. People have not been able to prepare for it financially or mentally.”

Mrs. McCallion said there were up to 60,000 women across the north affected by the changes.

“I have spoken to the Council and secured the building being lit up this evening, and I will continue to support the WASPIs in their campaign and pursuit of justice.”