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Chinese LibDems support WASPI

July 9, 2017 10:15 AM

Cllr Tatyan Cheung Cllr Jenny Forde and Maude LombergWASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) are a campaign group that fights the injustice done to all women born in the 1950s affected by the changes to the State Pension Law (1995/2011 Acts).​​

Cllr Tatyan Cheung had raised the issue of Women's rights at a recent Chinese Liberal Democrats executive meeting. He has also shared with CLDs about his work in persuading Cotswolds District Council to pass a motion to urge their local MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown to raise the issue of transitional state pension arrangements for women born after 1951 in Parliament.

The decision was made at cabinet meeting of the Conservative-led council following a motion put forward at a full council meeting on June 13 to apply pressure on the government to resolve the issue.

Maud Lomberg, a leading member of the Gloucestershire and Cotswolds Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) branch was present at the meeting.

The changing of the pension age for women from 60 to 66, to be put in place in October 2020, was done with little to no notice by the government, according WASPI, with protests aiming to bring about a 'transitional payment' to women born after April 6, 1951 to help bridge the gap until state pension age.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Jenny Forde had put the motion forward at the full council meeting.

Speaking on June 13, she said: "We agree with the equalisation of the state pension age but we do not support the unfair manner in which these changes were made in the 2011 Pensions Act.

"Around 2.6 million women were affected by the accelerated pace and many will receive their pension years later than expected. Furthermore, due to the shambolic handling of the notification process, these women have not been given a reasonable period of time to properly prepare for retirement. The government must take notice of this gross injustice."

"We need to take this chance to act and show the WASPI women of the Cotswolds that united we serve them and collectively we hear them," she added.

Cllr Cheung went on to say: "I think this council could do something positive by offering these women something in the future if this issue doesn't get resolved by the government by April 2018 when the next financial year ends.

"This council could maybe give these women a council tax discount. Something like 10 or 20 per cent council tax discount."

It is estimated there are 6,354 women in the Cotswold District who will be affected by the changes to pensions.

Pensions Minister Guy Opperman received much backlash after saying the government would not offer concessions and instead suggested that older people could retrain, go back to work or take up an apprenticeship at a meeting in Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

Read the full press report here.