'˜I was one of the Eastbourne WASPI women protesting in Parliament'
An Eastbourne WASPI campaigner has explained why she was part of a protest which broke out in Parliament.
Angela Boas, coordinator of East Sussex WASPI (Women Against State Pension Injustice), was one of around 40 women from across the country who travelled to the House of Commons and staged a protest in the public gallery after the Chancellor’s Budget.
She said, “It was very nerve wracking because there was security everywhere, but we managed to sneak our banners down our trousers.
“After we listened to the Budget we stood up and shouted and waved our banners. Security didn’t know where to go first!”
Following the outburst, which heard campaigners say ‘shame on you’ to the Government, a number of MPs stood up and clapped. Angela said, “That was when we knew we’d done the right thing.
“It was just amazing. I think we have finally been heard. We wanted to get it out there.”
The 64-year-old said the group is calling for compensation after millions of women were affected by the state pension age rising. This has meant many will have to wait up to six extra years to receive it.
“We are protesting over the way it was done,” Angela said, “They couldn’t even send out a letter to tell us we have got another six years to wait.
“I have worked all my life and was counting the days to when I could retire. I had made plans including looking after my grandchildren.
“I was totally shocked and disappointed when I learned just before my 60th birthday that I had to continue working another six years.”
The 1995 Conservative Government’s Pension Act included plans to increase women’s SPA (State Pension Age) to 65, the same as men’s.
WASPI says it agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the way the changes were implemented – they argue changes in 2011 meant it has gone through faster than promised.
Angela said, “This has affected many people’s positions. Those women have nothing now to get them through their retirement.
“There are some people who have given up work to look after their elderly parents and have used up their savings, they are having to sell their homes.
“I think the Government should realise this isn’t going to go away and they need to do something before they are totally embarrassed by it.
“We have been ignored. The Chancellor talked about money for potholes but never mentioned us.
“It’s been absolutely disgusting the way they have treated us.”