NEW Ayr MP Bill Grant has been slammed for failing to sign up to the WASPI pledge.

The Conservative MP met with the Ayrshire WASPI group to hear their grievances about the changes to the state pension age which will see some 1950s born women wait an extra six years to receive.

A spokeswoman for Ayrshire WASPI said: “Bill Grant Conservative MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock met with WASPI women from his constituency who were born in the 1950’s.

“The MP heard stories of women who are now need to sell their family homes, women relying on their families to subsidise them to be able to buy food, women who have developed mental health issues over their impoverished situation as a result of this injustice.

"Despite this, the MP would not agree to sign the WASPI pledge to support WASPI women and to work in Parliament to find a solution for the women affected.

“There are 4,750 women affected in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock which is Bill Grant’s constituency.”

Mr Grant defended his actions by claiming he didn’t want to score political points.

He said: “It was essential that I heard the concerns of the Ayrshire WASPI group and I took away from the meeting important inquiries for which I will seek answers.

“I share the WASPI aspiration of achieving a fair outcome in pensions for all UK citizens and I also share the UK government aim of securing a sustainable state pension.

"If I can raise issues to help redress inequality, I certainly will.
However, I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to sign the WASPI pledge at this meeting.

“I have noted that some other politicians are using their signing of the WASPI pledge as a political statement - basically a stick to beat the government.

"I didn’t think it was fitting for such an important meeting to end in this way.

“The government has previously made a concession worth £1.1bn that will reduce the impact on women most affected by pension changes.”

However, his actions have lead to condemnation by signatories of the WASPI pledge, including Carrick MSP Jeane Freeman.

The social security minister said: “Bill Grant MP shows utter disrespect for the WASPI women by refusing to sign their pledge.

"It is shameful that he would listen to the hardships these women face due to an ill thought out decision by his Conservative government yet still refuse to sign his name to the pledge.

"The Conservatives have ducked their responsibility to the WASPI women for too long, it is time to face reality.

“The WASPI women throughout Carrick and indeed throughout the country deserve support from their elected representatives to overturn this disgraceful decision which has no safeguards or support in place.

“I have long been an active public supporter of the WASPI cause, and I am pleased to continue to raise the plight of women who have had their retirement plans arbitrarily changed by the government.”