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Pressure to be put on government to help 44,000 Norfolk women hit by pension changes

PUBLISHED: 14:58 15 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 15 April 2019

Norfolk County Council aims to put pressure on the government over pension changes. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Norfolk County Council aims to put pressure on the government over pension changes. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pressure is to be put on the government to reconsider introducing extra payments to help the 45,000 Norfolk women hit by pension changes.

Conservative Norfolk County councillor Judy Oliver. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.Conservative Norfolk County councillor Judy Oliver. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Up until 2010, women got state pensions at 60, but the government has been raising the pension age to bring it in line with the retirement age for men.

The current state pension age is 65 for men and women and will rise to 67 by 2028.

But some women born in the 1950s, who have been affected by the pensions change claim the government did not do enough to make them aware of the plans to delay their pensions.

And members of Norfolk County Council have agreed, passing a motion that council leader Andrew Proctor should write to the secretary of state for work and pensions.

Labour county councillor Emma Corlett. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodLabour county councillor Emma Corlett. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

They called on the government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women. Conservative Judy Oliver, who proposed the motion, said the 45,000 Norfolk women had “unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the State Pension Age with lack of appropriate notification”.

She said there had been “devastating consequences” for some of the women, who struggled to find work to keep them going until retirement age, while their partners have had to work longer to help keep the family finances on the level.

She said: “Most, if not all, have suffered from stress and anxiety.”

Labour's Colleen Walker said she had been affected herself and Conservative Alison Thomas said: “It's something we should push forward to make sure the government recognises it.”

While the council almost unanimously backed the motion, Labour's Emma Corlett questioned the timing, asking what took the council so long and saying: “I'm sure it is nothing to do with the local elections.”

Meanwhile, a Labour motion calling for the council to provide sanitary products in its toilets was amended by the Conservatives.

Labour, highlighting the issue of period poverty - where women and girls are unable to afford products such as tampons - had wanted the council to provide them for free for staff and users.

But the Conservatives amended the motion, so a full report can be put together. Conservative Penny Carpenter said providing the products for free could cost more than £550,000, so a feasibility study was needed.

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