A PUBLIC meeting will take place tonight in Strabane to drum up support for the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign.
Organised in part by local lady, Bernadette Friel, the meeting is open to all those women and their families who stand to be affected by the recent changes to the State Pension.
In essence, WASPI represents women who were born between April 1951 and 1960 and who have claimed they were not made aware that their pension age was being raised by six years.
Although campaigners now admit they do not want a policy change, the thrust of the campaign is a battle of have transitionary measures initiated.
Bernadette Friel explained, “We’re not fighting to have the pension age brought back to 60. We’re fighting to have the transitionary arrangements implemented, something the Tories reneged on.”
According to Ms Friel, when it became clear that many women would lose out on six years’ worth of pension, the British Government mooted the idea of having a transitionary pot of money which would be available until those affected turned 66.
“I’m now 61,” she continued. “I had worked for 40 years with the contract that at age 60, I would get the state pension. I was then notified two years before I turned 60 that this wasn’t happening.”
Ms Friel says that missing out on six years of pension which she firmly believes she was entitled to, means she is losing out on over £40,000.
WASPI NI recently took their campaign to Westminster in London, where a protest was supported by local MPs including Mark Durkan.
“WASPI are campaigning for transitional arrangements to be put in place for women born in the 1950s,” Ms Friel continued.
“This meeting (Thursday at 8pm in the Fir Trees Hotel in Strabane) is to raise awareness and advise people on what has been happening in our campaign.”
Posted: 3:54 pm April 20, 2017