I joined my colleague Shona Robison MSP to support local WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign activists campaigning in Dundee's City Square today.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) fully supports the WASPI campaign in their efforts to secure fairness for women born in the 1950s who are affected by the acceleration in the retirement age.

While we agree with the equalisation of the State Pension Age, we do not support the unfair manner in which these changes were made in the 2011 Pensions Act. Around 2.6 million women were affected by the accelerated pace and many will receive their pension years later than expected.

Due to the UK Government’s shambolic handling of the notification process, these women have not been given reasonable time to prepare for retirement. This is a gross injustice.

SNP-commissioned research found that it would cost £8 billion to reverse the 2011 changes and give WASPI women more time to prepare - significantly less than the £30 billion suggested by the UK Government.

The Scottish Government will always use the powers at our disposal to protect the poorest in our society and mitigate the worst excess of the Tory government. However, with the limited social security powers devolved to Scotland, The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to create new pension benefits. The SNP will continue to fight for the UK Government to take responsibility, deliver the pension that women born in the 1950s deserve, and end this inequality at source.

More information about the WASPI campaign is available at: http://www.waspi.co.uk/

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