March 25, 2019 10.02 am This story is over 61 months old

North East Lincolnshire council supports pension protestors

Pension changes have left women out of pocket

More than 9,000 women in North East Lincolnshire have been badly affected by changes to the state pension age, according to campaigners.

A motion before North East Lincolnshire Council on Thursday, called on the authority to lobby central government for help for those living in, or about to live in, hardship due to the changes made in 2011.

Councillor Ros James, a WASPI campaigner, led the motion, telling her fellow members: “They deserve justice, deserve attention and deserve a financially secure retirement.

“These women were genuinely not aware of the pension changes until it was too late.”

The meeting was told some had even been made homeless because of the changes.

After the Pensions Act of 1995, the state pension age for women was increased to 65 in order to be equal with men.

The government said at the time that the transition should be in place by 2020.

But a further law was passed in 2011 to speed up the changes.

A further concession by Government then said no changes would take place until 18 months after the introduction of the change.

WASPI campaigners from the Lincolnshire Lionesses outside the Lincolnshire County Council building last year.

Campaigners said the changes mean that for some women born in the 1950s, a lack of notice left them out of pocket and without alternative arrangements when it came to drawing their pension. 

Councillor James and the WASPI campaign were backed unanimously.

Councillor Gaynor Rodgers  said: “It’s not fair and it’s not morally right.”

Councillor David Watson added: “These women have been failed… forced into poverty”

The campaign group, Women Against Pension Inequality, was set up in 2015 to lobby the government on the issue.

More than 150 local authorities have passed motions asking for the government to take action on the issue.

In addition NELC, support has also been given by East Lindsey District Council, Lincoln City Council and Rutland

NELC is the latest authority to support the WASPI campaign in addition to ELDC, Lincoln City and Rutland County Council.

Lincolnshire County Council voted down a motion calling on it to lobby the Government.

Following the meeting, a spokesman for Lincolnshire Lionesses said: “Although disappointed at LCC we continue to lobby with support of many Lincolnshire councillors. 

“Awareness and support of WASPI continues to grow in Lincolnshire and we are hoping to gain support of more Lincolnshire councils.”

SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.