Rudd needs to ‘Sit Up And Smell The Coffee’

At a recent demonstration, the Hastings and Eastbourne branch of the Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) campaign said they were ‘disappointed’ that local MP Amber Rudd didn’t support their cause.

On Friday 28th October members of the East Sussex WASPI campaign rallied in Priory Square in Hastings, where they believed Hastings MP and Home Secretary Amber Rudd was paying a visit to a business in the area.

Gill Sutton, a member of the Hastings WASPI said she was very disappointed that Amber Rudd didn’t back the movement. “We thought we’d come here today to see Amber Rudd, so with a bit of luck she might come out and talk to us.” Gill said.

“Her majority as an MP is only just over 300, which is probably twice our membership. We have told her that this could be the cause of her not getting in next time round so I think she needs to sit up and smell the coffee.”

She said: “Some of us are still having to work, some of us are unable to health because of health conditions. We just really want the government to stand up and listen to our cause.”

The WASPI movement has campaigned nationwide since 2011, when the age at which at women could legally retire changed from 60 to 65. WASPI believes the changes were unfairly implemented, giving women affected by the change little notice and not enough time to make alternative plans for the future.

Last year, Hastings Borough Council debated supporting the WASPI campaign at a council meeting. Cllr. Mike Edwards (Conservative) was the only only councillor who indicated he would not be backing the motion, saying “I think people should stand on their own two feet.”

He went on to say: “With regards to pensions, women have always been treated more favourably and we are asking the government to extend this inequality.”

A member of Eastbourne WASPI, Brenda Pittham said: “They’ve changed our pension age twice, with the 2011 Act and the 1995 Act and we’ve lost about £45,000 each.

“We’re asking that we don’t lose out financially.”

The WASPI campaign has an online petition which has almost reached 100,000 signatures. They are attempting to have the motion debated in Parliament.

Amber Rudd was not available for comment.

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