On Friday 16th September Jack Dromey, Liam Byrne, and Khalid Mahmood held a public meeting at the Six Ways Baptist Church in Erdington for the Women Against State Pension Inequity (WASPI) national day of local action and to provide a platform for the women concerned to form a Birmingham WASPI group.
The event was organised by Jack Dromey and the otherNorth East Birmingham MPsLiam Byrne and Khalid Mahmood, who heard the experiences of Birmingham women who have been short-changed and left in limbo by the increase in the state pensionage.
Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, speaking ahead of the public meeting, said:
“Over the past year many women have raised concerns overthe changes made by the Conservatives under the Pensions Act 2011. Not only did the Government break its promise that the pension age for women was not going to rise until 2020, but they also broke the promise that the pension age would not rise without at least 10 years’ notice. The WASPI women were given just two years’ notice.
The scale of those affected by these two Conservative Acts of Parliament is shameful. Around 2.6 million women will now have to wait longer to reach State Pension Age.Across Birmingham, 37,000 women will receive their pension later than expected with approximately 4,000 of these women coming from Erdington, alone.
The aim of the campaign is not to ask for the pension age to revert back to 60 but to achieve transitional state pension arrangements for these women. The possible arrangements would range from slowing down the rise in pension ages, to offering pension benefits such as free bus passes so that in the here and now the burden for these women will be eased.
The Tories are refusing to hear the voice of the women concerned. However, my colleagues and I are determined to step up the pressure to make them think again. We want to help the women who built Birmingham and Britain get the pension they deserve. We owe them so much. It is the least our country can do“
Khalid Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr:
“Labour have repeatedly called on the Government to look at transitional arrangements for the women born in the 1950’s who have been hit hardest by the changes to state pension age. However, time and again Government Ministers have failed to listen to this group of women and to understand the impact that their decisions has had on these women’s lives.”
Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill:
“The two Acts of Conservative legislation have left thousands of women born in the 1950s worse off, by forcing them to work much longer than they were originally told. The Government must address this issue and provide these women with adequate transitional arrangements.”