Anger over Labour group pension campaign claim

John McDowall.
John McDowall.

South Ayrshire labour group leader John McDowall has caused anger with Ayrshire’s WASPI pension campaigners by claiming to support the group.

That’s despite the Labour Group on South Ayrshire Council twice voting against calls to support the WASPI campaigners at full meetings of the local authority.

In a letter in last week’s Carrick Gazette Mr McDowall said: “The Labour Group of South Ayrshire Council strongly supports the campaign and has previously written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in support of this campaign. The Labour Group believes that the SNP Scottish Government has also failed these women by declining to use new devolved powers over social security benefits, which creates the power to introduce new state benefits or alter existing ones and have stated they will not use these new powers for at least three years.”

However Susan Bolland, Ayrshire WASPI press officer, said: “Our group are furious that he has announced that the Labour group is supporting the WASPI Campaign, when Labour joined the Conservatives at the recent full South Ayrshire council meeting to vote down the opportunity to revisit the motion in support of the WASPI campaign.

“Labour have used the local WASPI campaigning group as a political football and they know that the Scottish Government is unable to act on pensions as it is not within the Scotland Act; a fact that the councillors should be well aware of.

“Perhaps this epiphany has happened now that the May council elections have come into view.”

See pages 2 and 10.