As many of you know, I share your anger and frustration that women in Eastbourne are facing financial hardship due to the implementation of the 2011 Pension Act, which equalised the state pension age for men and women quicker than the previous 1995 Act. I have heard so many stories of women born in the 1950s facing hardship and having to wait to reach their new state pension age without adequate warning from the Department for Work and Pensions, and this is clearly unfair.
I was privileged to be able to present in Parliament a petition on behalf of 700 of my constituents to urge the Government to make fairer transitional arrangements. I know that this figure is only a small number of the estimated 4700 women who are affected, but I hope you think it was a worthwhile exercise to show the depth of feeling.
I have also supported the local WASPI group in Eastbourne and Parliament who are campaigning along the national organisation to take legal action believing there to be a strong case for maladministration from the DWP. This appears to be a promising line of attack for the campaign at the moment. If any residents wish to support the local branch their website can be found at: http://www.waspi.co.uk/eastbourne-east-sussex. It is doing much good work to help, campaign and support women locally affected by this change in the law.
I can assure you I will continue to fight for the WASPI women. I can tell you that, if I had been in Parliament, I would have voted for transitional arrangements to take this unfair cliff edge away. This injustice remains of upmost importance to me; all of us in the town knows someone who is affected, even my own sisters are WASPI women, so I care greatly on many levels. This campaign is vital for many women and they have my full support whether I remain in parliament or not.