Sidmouth campaigner: ‘Women’s state pension change has cost me £36,000’

16:01 08 February 2016

Archant

More than 145,000 people have signed national petition to make transitional arrangements fair

Campaigners in Sidmouth have vowed to keep fighting ‘draconian’ changes to women’s state pensions - which some say mean a personal loss of £36,000.

The speed at which the Government has implemented new rules to bring women’s pensionable age into line with men’s has sparked widespread anger and a national petition has gained more than 145,000 signatures to date.

Some people born in the 1950s face a six-year wait and say they did not even receive prior notification.

Following an article in the Herald last month, strength of feeling has mobilised men and women in the town to unite - and residents say they will not stop campaigning until the Government concedes to make transitional arrangements fair.

Fran Lee, of All Saints Road, said: “I was born in 1954 and worked for 38 years as a social worker. Before that, I was a teacher from the age of 21 and worked in part-time jobs while I was qualifying. I initially got a letter saying that due to the pension age change I would be 63 before I could claim it.

“I thought that’s not too bad, then I was absolutely gobsmacked to get a letter to say it would be 66. I have lost around £36,000.

“It’s horrendous. I could not carry on as a social worker because it’s very stressful, so I retired from my career and I have had to get a part-time job. It was fair the first time [the initial age increase to 63 implemented in 2011], but this is very draconian.”

Julie Davies and Jenny Velterop are both affected by the changes to state pension ages and said they are not against equality with men, but are angry about the way in which the process has been implemented.

The pair have done their own research and concluded that, although changes are being implemented in countries across Europe, none show as steep a rise as is being imposed in the UK.

A number of constituents went to East Devon’s MP Hugo Swire with their concerns.

Julie, of Culver Gardens, said: “I felt he certainly did not appear to have a grasp on the effect it has on men and women, because it affects both in a couple.”

She also raised the issue of regional discrimination in eligibility for bus passes – which for women in the most of the UK shifted in line with pensions, but in London, Ireland and Scotland the age is still 60.

Fellow campaigner Yvonne Rautenbach agrees that the bus pass age hike is also hitting women unfairly. She said: “Across the UK, the concession varies and I think it is unfair. My husband is 62, waiting for a hearing aid and does not drive far now and I have never been a driver.

“A bus pass at 60 would be far more life giving to me than free prescriptions to be honest - maybe we should have a choice.”

In last week’s Herald, MP Mr Swire said that while he understands concerns about the pace of change, the Government has taken measures to mitigate the impact on the worst affected - and alternative arrangements would bring ‘inordinate’ costs to the taxpayer.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

15:00
Carol Gilson.

A Honiton mobility scheme has enhanced the life of two people.

Read more
09:03
Red Arrows at Sidmouth 2016. Ref shs 34-16TI 6349. Picture: Terry Ife

The Red Arrows put on a fantastic display at Sidmouth to a bumper crowd on Friday evening, the weather was just perfect for such an event.

Read more
11:00
Partnership manager Richard Burningham (leftt) with Richard Kempton of South West Trains holding copies of the new “Devon – Great Scenic Railways” booklet.

East Devon and the Axminster to Exeter railway line is to be more widely promoted across the region, thanks to a new initiative.

Read more
07:00
The cycling team who are all hoping to raise £1,000 for a good cause.

A trio of cyclists embarked on a charity challenge and climbed more than 24,000 feet in 24 hours over the weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

The Charter Day Band Concert was once again held at Honiton’s Millennium Green - and has now become an annual event raising funds for its maintenance and upkeep.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00
Cottrell Cubs with their parents.

Cottrell Cubs showed off their cooking skills to celebrate finishing another great term.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

Cakes and coffee galore will be on offer at a Honiton Macmillan coffee morning.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
One of the posters from the collection.

Film buffs will soon have a chance to get their hands on a number of original cinema posters dating back to the 1930s.

Read more
Fri, 12:30
Ollie holding his cards next to his mum Karen.

When single mum Karen Jones discovered her autistic son making himself birthday cards because he has no friends, she set upon a crusade – appealing to strangers to make his special day one to remember.

Read more
Thu, 17:30
Seaton Jurassic's popular cafe. Picture: MATT AUSTIN

The £4million visitor attraction, which welcomed more than 20,000 visitors since opening in April, is proud to promote a taste of Devon to its customers.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications