WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality - demonstrated at the House of Parliament on Wednesday, June 29.
WASPI is an action group campaigning against the unfair changes to the State Pension Age (SPA), imposed upon women born on or after April 6, 1951 (and how the changes were implemented). This includes both the 1995 and 2011 Acts.
Women have seen their pension age changed twice with little or no notification. Retirement plans have been shattered with some women having to sell their homes in order to survive. Quite a few women in their sixties now find themselves on the job market due to redundancy or other reasons and are having difficulty finding work, as there is still a lot of ageism in the workplace.
JSA (Jobseekers’ Allowance), if you qualify, can only be claimed for six months and then it is means tested resulting in no income at all until they reach state pension age for those who have a small private pension or some savings.
Most are having to live on these savings in order to survive. These women have worked for more than 40 years and will therefore have nothing to show for it.
The quick acceleration of the second rise in state pension brought in by the 2011 pension act means that women born post-April 1953 had four months added to their pension age for every month born which results in women born in the same year who left school at the same time (aged 15 for most) now have a difference of more than three years in their State Pension age.
For instance, my friend born on April 1, 1953 has her state pension, bus pass and fuel allowance now while I was born just six months later and have to wait until March 2018. Almost two years later.
As this act was brought in 2011, women who were approaching their sixties then had no time to prepare for the increase.
To be clear WASPI does not want to undo the 1995 Pension Act. It is unfair that because of this, WASPI’s concerns and requests for “fair transitional state pension arrangements” are being dismissed and taken out of context. It is unfortunate that the government continues to misinterpret this.
There is a group for Castleford and surrounding areas named Castleford Waspis which also attended this demo last month in London.
They had pre-arranged to meet up with Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper after the demonstration. Ms Cooper is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group set up to help the WASPI Women and has been very supportive throughout.
The group’s next meeting is at 5.30pm on July 7 at The Junction pub on Carlton Street, Castleford. Please come along and join us, or find us on Facebook under Castleford Waspis. You can also message us on Facebook.
On behalf of Castleford
Don’t park in disabled spaces
Having driven into Pontefract on Sunday afternoon I was shocked to say the least at finding cars without a blue disabled badge on their dashboard that had been parked in clearly-marked disabled spaces.
The ignorance of these people assuming that just because it was Sunday they could park in disabled spaces was totally unbelievable. I have a blue disabled badge and I find it harder to find a disabled parking space which helps me enormously, so may I please ask people not to park in these spaces? Think of the old expression: There for the grace of God go I.
Wrights Lane, Criddling Stubbs
Whole team responsible
Neil Aspland from Pontefract has stated that Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are the people responsible for the UK leaving the EU; the EU leave vote is the responsibility of the entire vote leave team.
Whether that proves to have been the right decision for the UK only time will tell, it will take years.
But right now the FTSE All-Share Index is down 145 points from its high in July 2015.
I know the BBC like to quote the FTSE 100, but that has more international companies, not as a good barometer of the UK economy.
Oak Grove, Morley
In light of the results of the EU referendum in the Wakefield Council area it is patently obvious that our local MPs are out of touch with a large majority of their constituents.
As David Cameron is resigning as captain of the ship because he feels he isn’t the right person to steer it to it’s next destination (and rightly so), maybe Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh and Jon Trickett should consider jumping ship as well, because the boat isn’t going in the direction they want it to either.
Britain needs to show a united front to Europe by all political parties in the forthcoming negotiations. They can do it; as shown in their united attempt to convince us to vote to stay in.
Lewis M Jodrell
Snydale Close, Normanton
Let’s move on
Once again a vote and, once again, the usual gripes and post mortem from the losers and experts, and again the usual witch hunt to find a scapegoat.
I refer to the aftermath of the EU Referendum. I wasn’t exactly mesmerised by the leaders of either camp, not exactly human dynamos. Nor was I swayed by the so-called expert ‘if you don’t vote our way, we’ll leave’ celebs. I don’t hold my breath for one of them to be true to their word.
We’ve heard calls for a second vote - this was actually started by a leave supporter in case he lost, but it has now been hijacked by the Remain campaign.
We’ve heard “I wish I hadn’t voted to leave” from the leave camp, it’s too late now. There will always be winners and losers, and there will always be fence sitters as with the non voters, some of which I know among the younger generation, some of whom had no confidence in the leadership of both groups and couldn’t be bothered. Some who despite their best efforts to understand what it was all about found the whole issue too much to understand, could not make any sense of it at all and decided not to vote.
Why can’t we just have the attitude that okay we lost, they won, let’s make the best of it, let’s move forward, just as Castleford Tigers did when they got relegated, they worked and were soon back in the Premier League.
For me I don’t blame anyone for the result, I voted, it was a simple matter of weigh up the evidence and vote the way I think best for my younger family members’ future. After all they will be here when I’m gone, and I would like to leave them something more than a few pounds in my will.
Lower Oxford Street,
My wife and I wish to thank every one who supported our flower stall over the years that we have run one day a year for the mayor’s charity.
This year we supported the mayor’s charity Children with Autism. We raffled off two wheelbarrows that my son-in-law made and we planted up. The winning ticket was AD 912930 No 32 has been claimed by Mr and Mrs Ghentry.
We shall find out the amount that was raised by the donation tin and the raffle tin and post it on letters page soon. My wife and I are informing the council and all who supported us that we will not be doing any more galas because of health problems. I have come to the conclusion that we can no longer continue doing this one day a year, so once again to all, thank you for your support.
Mr and Mrs Roper
Each year the Kings Own Light Infantry Battlefields tours organise pilgrimages to the battle areas of the First World War.
This year the tour is from September 22-26 and seats are still available.
This year we plan to visit the Somme Battlefields, the Ypres Salient, Arras, Vimy Ridge and Loos battlefield areas if requested.
One hundred years ago on July 1 2016 the Battle of the Somme began.
After the first day of fighting the British Army casualties were in the vicinity of 57,000, the highest casualty figure the British Army ever suffered. The Battle of the Somme ended on November 18 1916.
The trips specialise in visiting specific cemeteries or memorials on the above mentioned battlefields, as and when they are requested, and an experience battlefield guide will accompany each trip to commentate on the various battles and the many historic events that occurred in the areas that we visit.
We can also assist people in the tracing of war graves from the First World War.
The KOYLI battlefield pilgrimages were formed as a charitable hobby in 1990 by ex-servicemen who have many years of practical experience in conducting visits to the First World War battlefield areas of France and Flanders and we support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and other institutions.
These trips are open to anyone who might be interested and we welcome all inquiries.
Anyone who requires further information should write to John Battye, Rhodes Street, Hightown, Castleford, WF10 5LL or call 01977 734614.
We ask for a medium sized SAE for all postal replies.