Pensions protesters in Suffragettes’ footsteps

WASPI protest at Westminster

WASPI protest at Westminster

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Borders women protesting about changes to their pension plans were to the fore at a protest outside Westminster Palace this week.

Lynne Craighead, of Burnmouth; Clair Ramage, of Hawick; and Gail Chandler, of Jedburgh, were joined by more than 2,500 other protesters.

The three women are part of the Borders branch of WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality), a group campaigning for government intervention over what it seesas unfair changes to the retirement ages and pension plans of women born in the 1950s.

“It was a great protest,” said Lynne. “Basically, we went down and just sang for a few hours. It was quite emotional as it was also the anniversary of a famous Suffragette march at Westminster from 1909.

“And the police accompanying us even said that we were the best-behaved protest of the week. What we are doing now is trying to make sure that the women affected in the area – more than 4,000 – are able to have their say.”

They were also met by many MPs, from all parties, including local SNP member Calum Kerr.

He outlined his stance on the pension changes: “No one is against equalising the state pension age, but the manner in which the UK Government has managed this transition has been appalling.

“The lack of communication and the limited notice provided to the women affected is disgraceful.”