State Pension Changes (Compensation for Women)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd April 2019.

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Photo of Stuart McMillan Stuart McMillan Scottish National Party

I congratulate my friend and colleague Sandra White for securing this important debate. It is appalling that, in 2019, the debate, fight and campaign are still taking place.

I thank the WASPI women who are in the Parliament today and those who have campaigned so tirelessly on the issue over the past number of years.

Michelle Ballantyne clearly has a different political view of the issue, which is understandable when we bear in mind her political party. In her speech, she spoke about the Pensions Act 2011 and stated that it was passed in the heat of the financial situation in 2011. However, most people recognise that the situation is different now, so why has the 2011 act not been revisited to fix the problem for all the WASPI women who are in the Scottish Parliament today?

Politicians from the pro-union side of the constitutional debate have argued that the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament have the powers to do something about the WASPI situation. There have even been suggestions that we should top up the pensions, but those suggestions are disingenuous.

First, if the system is wrong and pensions need to be topped up, there will be a shortfall, which will need to be fixed. Secondly, women are being targeted by the Tory UK Government to make up for its own mistakes. Thirdly, the Scottish Parliament does not have the powers to fix the situation, so any suggestion by politicians that it does is misleading and does the WASPI campaigners yet another injustice, on top of the one that has already been inflicted.