Letters: “Pin the Blame Where it Belongs”

envelopeDear Orkney News,

Thousands of women in Orkney and Shetland have been adversely affected by the pension changes brought in by the Liberal-Tory coalition in 2011.  

These women have partners, families and even friends who will have also been affected by the knock-on effect of them not being able to retire when they’d planned to, or retiring without their state pension. 

The change brought in by the previous government in 1995, to align the retirement ages of men and women, was the correct thing to do under the Equalities Act. Those changes were planned over a reasonable period of time, giving women time to adjust and fair notice was given. However, the Liberal-Tory coalition pushed through secondary legislation to significantly reduce that time and gave little or no notice to the women concerned, purely to save money.  

Alistair Carmichael is currently trying to blame civil servants and the Tories but considering he was the Deputy Chief Whip who pressed other MPs to push through this legislation, I don’t think this will wash.  

The SNP, Labour and the Greens all voted against the 2011 changes. The SNP has been at the vanguard of those pressing for compensation. The SNP state that in an independent country they would not only compensate the WASPI women but would investigate how Scotland’s state pension could be brought into line with the average state pension in the EU of £335 per week. Pensioners should not fear Scottish independence, they should be fighting for it. 

I would urge all the affected women, their partners, families and friends to vote for the SNP, who will work hard to protect and improve your pension entitlement. 

Yours, Angela Sutherland, Shetland

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


1 reply »

  1. Well put Angela, I couldn’t have put it better myself and shows the totally uncaring and the inability of the Lib/Dems to see beyond the end of their Pinocchio noses that these plans due to lack of any foresight the problems they would create in a very short number of years.

    But this problem has been looming for years given that Governments of both colours have in the past chosen to ignore the warning signs, the advent of the NHS leading to life spans increasing exponentially. Back when Pensions were introduced the expectation that men involved in heavy manual labour would live much beyond retirement age, in fact many died long before their 65th birthday. As heavy industry disappeared thanks largely to Tory Governments, actuaries were raising the warning flags that a system based on payments made from ‘Revenue’, i.e. current pensions paid from current contributors was unsustainable and that it was urgent that some form of Public Pension Scheme where the money collected was invested instead of it being seen as just another form of ‘Income Tax’. I believe such a system has been in use in Singapore for many years now.

    As I see it that if this had been done by a private individual or firm they would now be, being investigated by the Serious Fraud Squad, putting it bluntly this is THEFT ON A GRAND SCALE!!!!

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