Pensions group visit jobs fair after being told to get apprenticeships (From Evening Times)

A GROUP of equal rights campaigners took their fight to a city jobs fair.

Members of Glasgow’s Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) group visited the Glasgow Jobs Fair after the pensions minister suggested that they take up apprenticeships.

The women said that they have been left humiliated by the government’s decision to implement plans to raise the state pension age from 60 to 66 by 2020 for women born in the 1950’s.

Members of group believe they were given little time to react due to plans being fast-tracked by the Tory government, leaving thousands out of pocket.

Mr Opperman suggested that older people could get into work through “extended apprenticeship opportunities”.

One campaigner, Anne Dalziel has been given a five-year deferment on her pension while her twin brother will only have to wait five months.

She said: “In 2010 it was confirmed to me that I would get a pension at 63 and now it’s been confirmed that it’s 2019. I took shingles right after I found out.

“No one is arguing about taking it back to 60 or that men should work longer, we’re all for equality.

“I have a small works pension and savings that I live off but last month I had to get new glasses and I was stalling, because glasses aren’t cheap, and I need dental work. It’s stuff you shouldn’t have to worry about.

“You worked your whole life and you expected to retire before ill health comes in.

“I didn’t expect that I would be scrimping to get by to get a pension that I paid in – that I have a contract for.

“Through no fault of my own, that contract has been broken. It’s put me in a position where I just get by.

“It’s like getting a kicking when you tried to do the best you could. I’ve always worked, I’ve got two kids, I worked even when they were young.

“It’s nothing but theft as far as I’m concerned.”

WASPI’s Glasgow Group co-founder Rosie Dickson, 60, branded the legislation as “humiliating”.

“The inequality is we should’ve been getting benefits at 60 – they were a universal benefit. And now they’re pushing us back into the benefit system.

“We’re looking at all the young people going in for apprenticeships and they’re expecting a 60-year-old to get them.

“These women never planned to work on until 66.

“Nobody got warning or letters through to give them warning.

“With the life expectancy in Glasgow, it’s going to hit women worse than anywhere else.

“It’s all very well saying that we can do apprenticeships, but the reality is, there’s nothing out there.

“I would urge anybody who is affected by it to join us.”

Any woman who may be affected by the changes and wants to get involved with the campaign should email or search on Facebook for ‘Waspi Glasgow and Lanarkshire’.

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