Ipswich WASPI women march through town centre for pension fairness

The Ipswich branch of Women Against State Pension Inequality mark the 'national day of local action'

The Ipswich branch of Women Against State Pension Inequality mark the 'national day of local action'. Picture: SHELLY DARWIN - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich campaign group, which gives a voice to women who have lost out because of changes in pension law, has taken part in a national day of action.

Members of the town’s Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) joined local branches all over the country on a public rally in their areas today.

With the sun shining bright, the women were difficult to miss, donning brightly coloured wigs and sashes as they marched through the town centre to Giles statue while waving banners and balloons; there was even a bee costume in the midst.

The aim of WASPI is to achieve fair transitional arrangements for women born in the 1950s, for whom the state pension age has been raised twice, from 60 to 66 by 2020.

Elaine Patten, from Ipswich WASPI, claims she has lost £43,000 because of the reforms.

Fellow member Sue Hagley added: “All the women have paid national insurance for over 35 years and we paid our national insurance on a contract with the Government that we would get our pension at 60. They changed the law in 1995 and they didn’t start writing to women until 2009. Fourteen years that law was on the books and they didn’t tell anyone. If they sent us a letter each year advising us we could have made plans.”

Audrey Janyce said many women of that generation had been unpaid carers for family members.

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Ipswich’s parliamentary candidate for the Labour party, Sandy Martin, attended the event and signed a pledge to support’s the women’s cause.