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News / Parliament rallies behind pension protest

THE SCOTTISH Parliament has come out in favour of supporting a call asking the UK Government to provide bridging pensions to women affected by the changes to the state pension laws.

During a members debate on Wednesday afternoon only Conservative MSP Michelle Ballantyne spoke against a motion by saying that reversing the policy aimed at achieving parity for men and women would be too expensive.

The debate was opened by Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White, who applauded the ongoing national campaign by those affected by the increase in the state pension age.

State pension protestors in Lerwick. Photo: Peter Johnson/Shetland News

Many women, born in the 1950s, feel they are being ‘robbed’ of their state pension entitlement after the pension age was first changed from 60 to 65 to achieve parity with men, and is now being raised to 67.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott used to opportunity to praise the regular Saturday protest by the Shetland Justice Pension Group at the Tesco roundabout and said 1950s’ generation women deserved fairness.

“This generation of women speak about being robbed. Robbed of their money, from their hard work, from their service,” he said.

“This issue must be addressed. It cannot be right that a legal case is the only potential solution that 3,000 women in Shetland and Orkney will see to this wrong. Estimates say pension changes mean women are £40,000 worse off.”

He added that public meeting hosted by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael in both Orkney and Shetland had generated a higher attendance than on any other issue.

A landmark judicial decision on the issue is expected to be made later this year.

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