SNP Westminster leader in Lerwick for WASPI meeting

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford held a public WASPI meeting in Lerwick on Tuesday evening.

Around 40 people turned out to discuss the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign at Shetland Museum.

Former SNP election candidate Miriam Brett and current SNP by-election candidate Tom Wills were also at the meeting.

Mr Blackford called on the UK government to end pension injustice for women, describing the government’s attitute towards the issue as “cavalier”.

The “constant chopping and changing of rules is a disgrace,” added the SNP politician.

“This is about people living in dignity in old age,” he said.

After a talk from Mr Blackford, there was a chance for people at the meeting to voice their concerns about pension inequality in a Q&A session.

The meeting closed with a statement from Ms Brett: “The struggle goes on.”


Add Your Comment
  • Gillian Follows

    • August 21st, 2019 13:47

    Politicians should try living on fresh air when 50,s women were expecting a state pension from 60 how can at least £35000 lost be made up in such a short time very annoying and unfair I think we should pay people who have paid in not refugees etc and foreign aid should be scrapped and look after our own first.!!!!!!!!!!!! Then if any surplus help others .

    • Carol Mckie

      • August 21st, 2019 22:08

      I totally agree , I will be 61 next month &, I finished working because of I’ll health 6 years ago, like many others have to wait another 6 years. I started work at 17 .

      • Steven Jarmson

        • August 22nd, 2019 19:43

        I started work at 14.
        Basically worked full time whilst at school. Left school, bar a couple of periods of short-term unemployment mainly due to moving south and back up, I have worked full-time plus second and third jobs.
        Why should I have to wait longer for my pension because I lack a uterus?
        Notice was given in the 90s that female pension age was sexist discrimination and it would be ended by about now. Unfortunately, like most equality measures, instead of revising in favour of the discriminated, the government chose to equalise against the favoured few. Hence, female age went up, instead of male age coming down.
        Obviously, ill health is unfortunate. But there should be extra help for people who CAN’T work.
        The campaign should not be focussed on sexism and inequality.
        It should be about lowering the age for all, not just a favoured few.


    • August 21st, 2019 15:09

    42 years national insurance brought up three children and still caring for an elderly mother and still having to work missing out on my only granddaughter it’s a disgrace I feel totally robbed but just remember 3.8 million woman alot of votes unfortunately who do we vote for

  • Marie Ann preston

    • August 21st, 2019 15:27

    I think it’s disgusting why we cant have are pensions I am 64 going on 65 I have got I’ll health so cant work

    • Sylvia hill

      • August 21st, 2019 19:27

      Hi I’m 60, have my own health issues, look after my husband who is disabled for no financial reward, saving the government cost of a care home and am struggling to carry on. I have worked enough years, born children, contributed more than my fair share to society and deserve to claim my state pension before I die.

  • Sandy McMillan

    • August 21st, 2019 17:01

    Tavish has been a good servent, to Shetland,
    But Ian Blackford is some thing else, For Tom Wills to have Ian Blackford as his right hand man, he could not ask for better, When Ian is down in Westminster he can leave the Prime Minster speechless, It is the likes of Ian that makes the SNP a very strong party, I do believe we will see the SNP going for another go at independance, Independance will give us a better and fairer chance instead of our money going to west Minster, and nothing coming back across the border, we Scots are being robbed by Westminster
    I believe the time has com for Scotland to move, and stand on there own two feet as we all know Scotland is more than capable to look after there own affairse

    • George Jacobson

      • August 21st, 2019 21:59

      Dunno what sort of psychedelic world you live in boyo but it’s a well established fact that Scotland GETS more from the treasury than it Pays in taxes.
      The nats. deny that of course….all part of the cult’s beliefs….

      • Colin McKearney

        • August 23rd, 2019 18:50

        So the snp are a cult are they? That witless remark speaks more about you than it does about them….

  • Patricia Dye

    • August 21st, 2019 17:26

    I am a waspi woman who had been denied my state pension because the government at no notice decided to move the age of state pension from 60 to 66 we have been shafted big time the men’s went up one year and us women went up 6 years how is that equal .. I am struggling to keep working I am on my week all day have now got cellulitis in my leg when will we get compensated it’s on to long we have lost a lot of money .. the government just keep pushing it under the carpet please help us now we deserve something

    • Steven Jarmson

      • August 22nd, 2019 19:49

      Notice was given in the 90s. Not entirely sure what year, but I was still at school.
      I distinctly remember it was in every paper and on every news bullet-in for months.
      Sorry, but this is equality.
      Men have always had to wait.
      Just a shame they didn’t revise the age down for men rather than up for women.
      Equality doesn’t not always benefit those discriminated against. It is quite often used as a stick to beat favoured few with.
      This is one of the latter.

  • Susan barnes

    • August 21st, 2019 19:21

    Is there any way that us waspi women could take the gov to court for the theft of about 35 thousand to 45 thousand surely its enbezzalment and shouldnt be allowed .we paid in for this pension so they have stolen it .

  • ian tinkler

    • August 21st, 2019 19:37

    I was a single parent, raised two children. Never drew a penny of pension until 67. This Waspi thing is applied to greed. We are all equal, stop the moaning and get on with it.

    • Rachel Ellis

      • August 22nd, 2019 13:49

      Maybe if you had 6 – or in my case nearly 7 years added too your working life, you would feel differently.

      • Peter Hamilton

        • August 24th, 2019 19:20

        Yes Rachel. But I have to ask, given the testimonies below, how can Ian be so unfeeling? He might feel differently again without an NHS or military pension.

        “Greed”?, “Stop moaning”?, “Get on with it”? Callous beyond belief, and, yet again, possibly beyond a “normal standard of decency”. It is unlikely we will find out what motivates him to be so disagreeable. Perhaps we will never find out. And perhaps we’d rather not know.

      • ian Tinkler

        • August 25th, 2019 11:22

        Peter, you are wrong again, what a surprise. I was Naval Reserve, no pension. I was outside the NHS for most of my working life. Minimal NHS pension. I still work and love it. Sitting on my tail end and moaning about not getting a free ride at 60 I would not do.

    • Maureen Gardiner

      • August 22nd, 2019 21:09

      Ian, What kind of salary did you have that you didn’t draw your pension till age 67! Lucky you!
      We are not moaning, women were not allowed to go into pension schemes if they were part time workers! I have worked since age of 15 years old, eventually qualified as a nurse , having children you didn’t get maternity pay you had to leave!
      Paid in all these years, thinking I would get my pension at 63 still working full time, carer for parents, family require help with grand children with medical conditions. It would be nice to help without pressure of work.. Time for myself would be great..And may I say, why should we work till we die, what’s the point in being born.. More now for the young ones work till they are 75 ! Men and women deserve me time eventually. By the way i do just get on with it !

  • Lesley Edgar

    • August 21st, 2019 20:26

    We did not have a choice to pay into the system it was a legal requirement. I have worked since I was 14 years old. I am now 61 and still working because the government have stole my pension, However the government can use my money and other WASPI money to aid refugees, treat foreign immigrants in hospital and so on. Foreign country make us British pay why does our government not stand up and be counted and put an end to non uk residents treating our country with free gratis

  • Christine Ariss

    • August 21st, 2019 20:35

    I did a paper round when I was 11year old for my pocket money aswel as potatoe picking started work in the factory at 15 wasn’t given any advice about a pension when the factory shut down I started to work for the council who offered me to start my pension thank God I did at 58 I had a brain tumour and couldn’t work again so I do get a little pension but at 62 I could of done with my old age pension

  • Rachael King

    • August 21st, 2019 20:48

    I do not live in the Shelands but I was born in the 1950’s I get my pension when I am 65years 6months old how can people vote for this government when they have robbed us of our pension and our retirement their was no letters and no warning I had no time to start a private pension this government has caused a lot of suffering for people they are ok with their millions.

  • John Inkster

    • August 21st, 2019 21:05

    It has been reported today that Scotland spent £12,600 million (£12,600,000,000) more in the last year than it generated in taxes. In other words the UK has to pump in billions of pounds each year to keep Scotland viable. Most of this money coming in from taxes taken in the massively prosperous south east of England. Apparently the latest figures show that Scotland was responsible for about half of the UK’s total debt for the year despite only having about 10% of the total UK population. The financial position to say the least, is not pretty.

    It makes much more sense for the English to vote for Scottish independence than for the Scots to vote for it. Christmas is great if you are eating the Christmas dinner but not so good if you are the turkey.

  • Kathleen McLean

    • August 21st, 2019 21:18

    Worked full time from the age of 15. Paid full national insurance stamp to earn my own state pension. Had small savings set aside to tide me over from age 56 years to 60 years to allow me to leave work early. Always paid my way. Never claimed anything. Independent. No notice of change of state pension age until it was too late to do anything about it. No one would employ me as very ageist . Finally scraped through counting the days until I could get my state pension at age of 64.3/4. We women were always paid less than men right through the years I worked. Sexual discrimination.
    This government is a disgrace. They will never get my vote again. We are a forgotten group of hard workers who have been robbed

  • Ann sneddon

    • August 21st, 2019 21:27

    I have paid into the system for over forty years I feel this is an injustice to put six years into my working live I work in an mental health unit for under sixty five not an easy job I am 63 year of age I should have been retired three years ago and enjoying my live I feel cheated

  • Josephine boyd

    • August 22nd, 2019 3:03

    I no how all you ladies are feeling robbed aim 64 and I feel about 94 I have been working all my life and thought just like yous that I would retire at 60 but no I have to wait till am 66 it would be nice to get something back but they just don’t care there hoping that a lot of us will die off soon I live in barrhead glasgow we have a meeting on the 28 of this month so we keep fighting lol

  • Sue Bazley

    • August 22nd, 2019 8:34

    Nor was there any notice about change in inherited spousal state pension
    If you have a state pension in your own right you do not receive your spouse’s state pension when they die if you are born after a? certain date
    This affects a lot of women in the same age group as WASPI women
    This halves the state pension my late husband and I thought I would receive

  • Lynne Lambert

    • August 22nd, 2019 8:49

    Think tank they need to think the MPs will have good pensions retire early what about people that do manual work if there minds are willing there bodys arent but they’ve paid there dues the government should be ashamed what about all these young people who dont want work some get more benefits than i earn in a year do they get penalised NO the 50s generation women did a fulltime job at home then went to work they want to put up the age so many DIE before getting there pension its DISGUSTING !!!!!!

  • John Tulloch

    • August 22nd, 2019 10:02

    Still no mention of the “benefits of independence”?

    It’s a wonder that, being so supportive of the WASPI cause, Mr Blackford didn’t undertake to restore the women’s pensions in an independent Scotland?

    Perhaps, it’s because Scotland is already running a deficit of £12.6 billion last year (tax sent to Westminster versus money received from them via the so-called Barnett Formula)?

    That means. of course, that “Wicked Westminster” is subsidising Scotland to the tune of around £2000 per year, per head of population. Money that will not be paid after independence.

    The Glasgow Herald reports:

    “Nicola Sturgeon, who has presented every other GERS report since becoming First Minister in 2014, skipped the event to campaign for the SNP in the Shetland by election for the third time.”

    I don’t think she mentioned the deficit or independence, either, did she?

  • John Irvine

    • August 22nd, 2019 13:48

    This will be the same Ian Blackford who along with his sidekicks led a campaign that unleashed a torrent of abuse against Charles Kennedy prior to his death?

    And some think he`s a great man? maybe time to wise up to the SNP and all their propaganda?

  • Patricia Daley

    • August 22nd, 2019 13:57

    I am 63 now and I have had health issues since I was 56 years old when diagnosed with cancer. I have worked since being 15 and paid full stamp even after getting married. I could have taken the lower stamp, but I have always been glad I didn’t. 48 years and I think I have done enough.

  • Gideon Johnston

    • August 24th, 2019 17:50

    The U.k. goverment treat the WASPI the same way the treat Scotland taking money and not giving back.The Scottish economy is worth £250 billion to the UK treasury and we get £34.2 billion back. Scotland has 40 per cent of uk renewable energy 62 per cent of fish landings. 90 per cent of fresh water supplies 96 per cent of crude oil production 60 per cent of uk natural gas production..Its no wonder they don’t want rid Scotland.

  • Derick Tulloch

    • August 24th, 2019 18:50

    The Scottish Government has an annual borrowing limit of £1.050bn, legally set by under the Scotland Act 2016

    It’s not possible to have a “deficit” of £12bn when the legal limit is £1bn.

    The GERS figures are little more than fantasy, including for example £3.2bn of military expenditure that the UK government allocates to the Scottish budget. Which would be a spend greater proportionally than the USA or Israel. An obvious nonsense.

    • John Tulloch

      • August 25th, 2019 11:44

      SNP spin from Derick Tulloch. He seeks to deny the Scottish government’s own figures.

      Scotland received £12.6 billion more in 2017-18 from Westminster than it raised in tax revenue.

      That £12.6 billion p.a. will cease to be paid with independence and unless reduced, meanwhile, will become our budget deficit – around 7 percent of GDP, versus the EU’s maximum limit of 3 percent.

      Even the SNP’s own Sustainable Growth Commission has admitted that our starting budget deficit would be 5.9 percent (around £10 billion per annum) and proposed a multi-year plan to halve it, to 3 percent.

      This will mean a combination of heavy spending cuts and/or tax hikes at a time when extra spending will be needed to set up independent functions and stimulate the economy.

      i.e. Public-service-scorching “austerity” of £5-7.6 billion p.a. on a total annual budget of around £70 billion.

      “Love gengs oot da door whin poverty comes in da window”!


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