Coilla Drake, the Labour candidate for the Orkney and Shetland General Election has raised the issue of the WASPI women in the islands.
Coilla Drake stated that the generation of women born in the 1950s were betrayed by the Conservative/Liberal Government’s decision to accelerate the equalisation of the state pension age, yet the Tories are refusing to support women who’ve seen their retirement plans scuppered.
Labour will compensate 1950s women with a “weekly redress” based on the number of lost weeks of their pension and the amount of time they had to prepare.
With a full weekly redress payment of £100, the average compensation would be £15,400, paid in annual instalments over five years.
Coilla Drake said:
“I am a Waspi woman. I cared for my husband and father for twelve years till they passed at home in Westray as they wanted. When my husband died just before Christmas 2017, I was left with no income except a few weeks of carers allowance. I claimed JSA because it was £10 more a week. I felt like a criminal, the threat of sanctions made me very anxious. I spent seven weeks in Winter in Orkney with no heating or hot water because I didn’t know if I would be able to pay the bill.
“We did not deserve to be punished in this way, women put so much into society in so many unseen and often unappreciated ways. Thank you for helping Jeremy, there are so many injustices to address when you get into Government.”
“The Labour Party has set up a site so women can find out how much compensation they would be entitled to: http://bit.ly/WaspiOS “
David Cameron’s coalition government presided over a change in the law that increased the women’s state pension age to 65 in November 2018 – followed by 66 in October 2020.
Coilla went on to pledge that Labour would introduce a compensation scheme for the 3.7million women hit by the changes, which Cameron’s Tory-Lib Dem government imposed in 2011.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“This week, Boris Johnson dismissed the concerns of a woman who has lost out on her pension, telling her it’s “not possible” to right the huge wrong she and so many others have suffered. This is about consideration for those who have paid into the system all their lives and made this country what it is, only to be hung out to dry by a government that puts the interests of the richest first.
“The next Labour government will compensate women who were unfairly hit by the rise in the state pension age and give them the respect they deserve.
“The powerful and wealthy want you to believe that real change is impossible, that it’s not realistic.
“But it is possible with Labour. Because Labour is not on the side of the billionaires and the bankers, we are on the side of the people.”
There are 6 candidates standing in the Orkney and Shetland Constituency to be held on Thursday 12th of December.
David Stephen Barnard, Independent
Alistair Carmichael, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Coilla Anne Drake, Scottish Labour Party
Jennifer Fairbairn, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Robert Fraser Leslie. Scottish National Party (SNP)
Robert Watt Smith, The Brexit Party