PLAID Cymru’s Helen Mary Jones, Mid and West MS, has made a plea in the Senedd during Counsel General questions for Welsh Ministers to back the campaign of women born in the 1950s denied their pensions and for them to have early access to their pensions and pension credit.
In Mid and West Wales there are nearly 30,000 women affected by the 2011 legislation with 4,500 of them born before May 6, 1954.
In March 2019 the Senedd passed a motion that recognised the WASPI campaign, which also called on the Labour-led Welsh Government to support the women in their legal proceedings against the Westminster Government.
The Counsel General Jeremy Miles told the virtual Senedd the Welsh Government’s last letter to the Westminster Government on the pensions issue did not even get a reply.
Jane Jones a WASPI campaigner from Llanelli said:
“The Counsel General said last year he couldn’t get involved in the judicial review, but in reply to Helen Mary Jones, he said he had written to the UK government, but had no response. Can I ask he produces the letter and answers why he has not followed up with another letter to the UK government to get a response?
“Yet again 1950’s women were not mentioned in the chancellor’s summer statement. Another missed a great opportunity to shake the money tree and pay what we are owed and letting us retire while also relieving another problem by giving the young our jobs. Instead, he offers up a gimmick of £10 off meals.
“Hopefully the hearing at the Court of Appeal on July 21-22nd will finally settle the wrongs of past and present governments, if not our fight for justice will continue.
“In the meantime MPs, Ben Lake and Andrew Gwynne have been asking the Chancellor to allow all 1950’s women immediate access to their state pension. Will the Counsel General support this and again follow up on the UK government? We 1950’s women can be a part of the economic recovery, by freeing up jobs for the younger workers.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Economy, Transport and Tackling Poverty Minister Helen Mary Jones commented:
“The whole point of pensions is that it is universal and that is what these women are entitled to.
“In the Senedd during Counsel General questions I called for the Westminster Government to address this injustice and come forward with an appropriate redress scheme before further legal steps are taken.
“Plaid Cymru believes the Westminster Government should make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born in the 1950s, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with a lack of appropriate notiﬁcation.
“The Westminster Government have shown themselves willing to make very substantial investments in protecting our economy. It is time they make a similar investment in addressing the injustice that the women born in the 1950s have faced. There would be potentially an additional benefit to doing so, because it would enable some of those women to retire as they had planned to do, potentially releasing some roles in the workforce for workers who are not yet ready to retire.”
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