‘Communities Minister must not abandon WASPI Women in NI’ – Ritchie

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Monday, September 5th, 2016
Politics
SDLP MP for South Down, Margaret Ritchie, has called on the Minister for Communities, Paul Givan, to meet with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to make the case for the WASPI women in Northern Ireland. WASPIWASPI have been campaigning for transitional arrangements to be put in place before changes to their pensions are made as part of the equalisation of the pension age. Following a meeting with representatives of ‘Women Against State Pension Inequality’ from Northern Ireland, Ritchie said, “Whilst the equalisation of the pension age is to be welcomed, many people were not fully informed of changes to their pension arrangements and have not been given adequate time to prepare for a change in their financial situation. “Without sufficient, if any, warning, these women are expected to work for longer for a smaller pension than they had anticipated and had planned for. The Government has also not taken account of fact that women’s pensions are already full of inequalities and they have exacerbated this in their failure to introduce transitional arrangements.
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July 2016“It is a grossly unfair situation affecting many women in Northern Ireland that the Minister for Communities and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions must remedy. WASPI has led a well-publicised campaign that has gained significant public and cross-party support. “They are by no means opposed to the equalisation of the pension age nor do they wish to see it reversed. What these women want is a fair settlement that provides for transitional arrangements. Ritchie added, “My colleagues in the SDLP and I have reiterated our support for the women and the campaign. I have made representations to the Secretary of State on the issue of women affected in Northern Ireland specifically. Now the Minister must play his role in ensuring that the WASPI women of NI are treated fairly.”

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