Wakefield Town Hall will light-up purple next week - here's why
Wakefield Council is lighting up the Clock Tower at Wakefield Town Hall in purple on Monday (6 September) in support of the 1950s-born women who were given little or no notification that their state pension age had increased.
The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension’s Act included plans to increase the State Pension age (SPa) for women to 65, the same as men.
The 2007 Pension’s Act confirmed the equalisation and increased the SPa for women and men to 66, and the 2011 Pension’s Act accelerated that increase.
The Council Leader is lending her support to the Women Against State Pension Injustice (WASPI) campaign 2018, which agrees with equalisation but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented, leaving no time to make alternative plans.
Women were not properly informed, and the groups aim is to achieve fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the state pension law (1995/2007/2011 acts).
Coun Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Many women are facing significant hardships as a result of the way these changes were brought in.
“We have been lobbying Government since 2016 to consider fair state pension arrangements and still, nothing has been done.
“This council supports the WASPI campaign 2018 and will continue to call on the Government to deliver fair state pension arrangements for those affected.”
Cath Dwyer, on behalf of Castleford and Yorkshire Women Against State Pension Injustice, said: “Our group – Castleford and Yorkshire WASPI – are really pleased that this is happening and very grateful to Cllr Denise Jeffery for agreeing to join other councils throughout the UK , who are lighting their Town Halls or other landmarks purple in support of 1950s born women.
“The I in our WASPI stands for injustice and a great injustice has been done to 50’s born women. Our campaign has focused on the fact that we received little or no notification from the DWP about the rise in state pension age – thus we were unable to plan and prepare for our retirement.
“The ombudsman’s decision that the DWP were guilty of maladministration by not writing to us has brought us some vindication and this is what we are celebrating on 6 September as Parliament resumes. We continue to await the outcome of the next stage of the investigation.”
In September 2016, a motion was carried at Wakefield Council’s Full Council meeting which called on the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after the 6th April 1951 so that women do not live in hardship due to pension changes they were not told about until it was too late to make alternative financial arrangements.