The campaign for fair pensions for women was well and truly on the agenda this week as women and elected representatives stepped up their campaign.
The pace of change to women's State Pension Age has been branded 'unfair' and 'unjust', leading to the creation of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign across Wales and the UK. Around 10,000 women in Carmarthenshire are affected by the pension changes.
On Wednesday, a motion by Plaid Cymru Councillor Carl Harris was debated in County Hall. The motion, which called on the local authority to support the WASPI campaign and make appropriate representations to the UK Government, was unanimously supported by County Councillors.
To mark International Women's Day on Thursday, local WASPI campaigners joined women from across Wales on a march in Cardiff in protest against the pension changes. They were joined by local Assembly Member Adam Price and Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood AM who also addressed the rally.
On Saturday, around 100 Carmarthenshire women attended a drop-in advice session in Ammanford Library jointly hosted by Jonathan Edwards MP and the WASPI Amman Valley group.
Jonathan Edwards MP said:
"If there was any doubt as to why the WASPI campaign was so important then our advice session on Saturday epitomised exactly why we should all support women born in the 1950's.
"Many of those who came were not informed of the change to their pension age, or received a short letter from the Department for Work and Pensions when they were just a year or two out from retirement, telling them they would now need to wait an extra 6 years.
"It cannot be right that after 40 years of hard graft the government can move the goal posts, sometime twice, without little or no notice, leaving a woman's future plans shattered.
"Around 100 women attended our drop-in session on Saturday, where they got information on the WASPI campaign and what they can do to make a formal complaint to the DWP.
"As the campaign continues, I want to place on record my personal thanks to the members of the local WASPI group who are working tirelessly to assist Carmarthenshire women fight this injustice."
Adam Price AM added:
"It is 100 years since some women got the right to vote, and it's in the spirit of the suffragettes that the WASPI campaign is being fought.
"I was delighted to join local campaigners at their march in Cardiff on International Women's Day this week.
"We're all so pleased to also get the unanimous support of Carmarthenshire County Council which also recognises the unfairness of these pension changes.
"Jonathan Edwards and I fully support the efforts of local campaigners. I have no doubt that their determination will see the campaign go from strength to strength."
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