Nick Smith MP Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent
Nick Smith MP has petitioned the Government on behalf of Blaenau Gwent to protect hundreds of thousands of women from pensions hardship.
The Blaenau Gwent MP has been backing the campaign to ease the burden of women across the country hit by the Government’s acceleration of state pension age, hosting coffee meetings across the borough to hear first hands the pain it has caused.
Now Mr Smith has presented a petition in Parliament signed by Blaenau Gwent residents calling on the Government to ease the transition of a later pension age and give women a better deal.
Speaking in Parliament as the petition was accepted, Mr Smith said: “Meeting women up and down my borough, it’s clear that pension changes are disproportionately affecting working-class women.
“Women who may have started work as young as 15, with no private pension to fall back on, and likely to have been in manual trades, trades that are hard to keep up with in later years.
“Their stories are pointed, powerful and painful.
“These women, now known throughout the country as WASPI women, deserve our support.”
The petition states that as a result of the way in which the Tories implemented the 1995 Pension Act and the 2011 Pension Act, women born on or after April 6th 1951 have had significant changes imposed on them with little or no personal notice. Many women have found themselves having to work much longer, without time to make alternative retirement plans.
This issue has been brought to public attention by the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI). WASPI believes in pension equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way these changes have been implemented, arguing that many women’s retirement plans have been shattered.
Labour believes a better transitional deal is needed and are supporting the idea that Pension Credit should be extended to those who were due to retire before the Coalition’s pension age increase.