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Isle Of Wight Council Set To Debate Motion In Support Of WASPI Women 

Isle of Wight councillors will debate a motion calling for compensation for women affected by State Pension age increases at Wednesday’s Full Council meeting.

More than 3.8 million women born in the 1950s across the UK were affected by the Government’s decision to increase the State Pension age from 60 to 65, and later 66.

There are approximately 11,000 affected women on the Isle of Wight, making up some eight per cent of the population, according to Office for National Statistics data.

Many of those affected were unaware of the proposed increase to their State Pension age, and missed vital opportunities to plan their retirements properly.

Tens of thousands were plunged into poverty as a result.

Ahead of the council meeting, Isle of Wight women have spoken of the financial and emotional impacts on them. Some were forced to sell their homes and cars in order to meet rising food costs.

WASPI Solent campaigners are expected to assemble outside County Hall from 5.15pm, ahead of Wednesday’s Full Council meeting, for photos with Cllr Michael Lilley and other supporters.

Sue, a WASPI woman living in Ryde, said:

“All my life I had been told that I would receive the State Pension at 60. I didn't discover I wouldn't get this until I was 58 [which was] too late to do anything.

“I sold my house to buy a basement flat on the island that needed a complete renovation as I couldn't afford mainland house prices. It was cheap but it's often cold and damp.

“I have just had to sell my car as this year I won't be able to heat, eat, and run my home as well as afford the car running costs.”

The Solent Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) group campaigns for fair and fast compensation for women locally who were affected by the Government’s failings.

The motion, led by campaigners from the Solent WASPI group, will be brought by Liberal Democrat Cllr Michael Lilley to next Wednesday’s Full Council meeting.

The motion calls upon the council leader to write to the Work and Pensions Secretary, demanding a “swift resolution” to remedy the injustices caused in the form of “an immediate compensation package.”

Cllr Michael Lilley, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Ryde Appley and Elmfield who brought the motion in support of WASPI women, said:

“Women born in the 1950s across the island have had their retirement plans devastated due to a catalogue of errors in Department for Work and Pensions’ handling of State Pension age changes.

“I’m proud to be supporting such tenacious campaigners at Wednesday’s Full Council as we continue to fight for fair and fast compensation for the injustices they face.”

Councillors previously backed a motion to support fair and fast compensation for WASPI women in 2016, making the local authority one of the first in the UK to declare their support.

Shelagh Simmons, Solent Coordinator for the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign, said:

“We’re very grateful for the support shown by so many Isle of Wight councillors. Now, the Government must act urgently to deliver fair and fast compensation to those affected by this long-running injustice.”

“Thousands of 1950s-born women across the island are struggling to afford to heat their homes as a result and these pressures will only worsen as temperatures continue to fall this winter.

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