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Webchat with Mhairi Black MP, Tuesday 12 January 11am-12pm

(155 Posts)

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BojanaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 08-Jan-16 17:36:15

Hello

We’re pleased to announce that the SNP’s Mhairi Black MP will be joining us at MNHQ on Tuesday 12th January between 11am and 12 midday. She’d particularly like to talk about the ‘Women Against State Pension Inequality’ campaign - see below for more details on that.

Mhairi Black is SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South and is the current ‘Baby of the House’ - the youngest member of the House of Commons. After joining the SNP in 2011 Mhairi was elected at the age of 20 in the 2015 General Election, whilst completing her undergraduate degree in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Glasgow. Her maiden speech made headlines, partly for the rule-breaking applause which followed it.

In support of the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign, Mhairi secured a debate in the House of Commons on state pension age increases that some say discriminate against women born on or after 6th April 1951, calling the situation “grossly unfair”. The campaign is calling for the reversal of the decision to delay the retirement age for women born in 1953-1954 - you can read more about this here.

Please do join us on the day or leave a question here in advance - and as ever, please remember our Webchat Guidelines: one question per poster, and please do be polite.

Thanks
MNHQ

WestCoastDreamin Thu 14-Jan-16 12:17:13

I was a bit disappointed to see the 'Scotland puts more in than it gets out' myth - most have abandoned that argument as it is so easily argued and economy is, by a far margin, the least attractive and persuasive argument for independence.

RJnomore1 Wed 13-Jan-16 21:13:04

Just catching up with this, disappointed but not surprised to note Mairi did not choose to use the opportunity to distance herself from her previous sectarian comments, as she has to the very best of my knowledge and my google abilities at no point previously done so either.

SonyaAtTheSamovar Wed 13-Jan-16 11:33:43

And they happen to be women.

SonyaAtTheSamovar Wed 13-Jan-16 11:33:09

This campaign is not saying pension age should not go up.

It is specific.The notice for the particular group was tiny. It is about one age range being given not enough time to make alternative arrangements.

AnthonyBlanche Tue 12-Jan-16 23:20:46

I thought her answers were very predictable and disappointing. Also I know that some women seem not have realised their state pension age was going up, but it has generally been known for many years that it would be. Perhaps the lesson is that people need to make more effort to educate themselves about pensions and other financial issues.

OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 12-Jan-16 21:48:02

I work in Life and Pensions and the thought of another complete layer of Financial regulation finished it for me before it even started.

OneMagnumisneverenough Tue 12-Jan-16 21:46:29

But it didn't say she was only here to talk about Pensions, just that she'd particularly like to talk about pensions - so the earlier questions should really have been addressed too. Not everyone can arrange to be on at that time to ask a live question which is therefore why people posted some earlier.

Smoke and mirrors people, smoke and mirrors...

AyeAmarok Tue 12-Jan-16 21:33:17

AgentCooper I know what you mean, yes she was only here to talk about pensions,but she still did manage to sneak in some answers about how Independence is still the right thing even though we'd have been completely bankrupt now because of the oil price crash.

But just like how we'd have been fine without the oil money, because we have a strong and diverse economy, we also wouldn't have been impacted by all our financial services companies leaving en masse. Because they say so. Have faith!

AgentCooper Tue 12-Jan-16 18:52:00

Hate to pout, but this is the second time someone from the SNP hasn't responded to my question on a MN webchat about whether or not there'd have been contingency plans if big companies had left Scotland and left big areas of unemployment in the event of a Yes vote. And both times I got my question in nice and early.

Fair play to Mhairi, pensions are what she was here to talk about and that she did but I would really love to hear an answer to that question one day!

Roseformeplease Tue 12-Jan-16 17:37:40

No responses to my questions on equality in Scottish education, or about cuts in education linked to under-funding of councils.

As usual. Bash Westminster and rainbows sprinkled with fairy dust will follow if we vote for independence.

I am sorry, but this was one of the most disappointing web chats so far. I had high hopes that a product of Scottish education might have something to say about it.

prettybird Tue 12-Jan-16 17:11:42

I posted up earlier a link to an article about research that had shown that the councils had been over compensated for the council tax freeze.

Personally, I think austerity measures and budget cuts are more to do with the reducing block grant from Westminster than the council tax freeze.

Talking to friends and colleagues in England who work in education and the NHS, I think we've been shielded from the worst of what's been going on down there.

AyeAmarok Tue 12-Jan-16 13:18:15

Ah, gutted I missed this!

I feel torn because I really like Mhairi and a fair number of SNP policies, but I am put off when they try and claim everything will be resolved by Independence.

Putting that to one side, MB, is a great example of a young, articulate female MP from a fairly "normal" (hate that word but can't think of a better one) background. And I'm really pleased to see her taking on proper issues like this, trying to drive forward equality.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 12-Jan-16 12:51:36

SNP position on council tax: policybase.snp.org/does_the_snp_plan_to_reform_council_tax
Report from commission on local tax reform available here: localtaxcommission.scot

As far as I am aware councils are fully compensated for the freeze. Also worth noting that council tax makes up a pretty small proportion of a councils income.

DrDreReturns Tue 12-Jan-16 12:34:21

Mhairi, several people have asked about the council tax freezes. Both SNP supporters and non-SNP supporters. It's clearly important to everyone.
They've (SNP MPs) have obviously been told not to answer questions about it.

PeachFuzzzz Tue 12-Jan-16 12:22:26

Thank you for your honesty! Keep up the good work!

trixymalixy Tue 12-Jan-16 12:20:55

Mhairi, several people have asked about the council tax freezes. Both SNP supporters and non-SNP supporters. It's clearly important to everyone. Can you answer please?

MhairiBlackMP Tue 12-Jan-16 12:19:10

PeachFuzzzz

Sorry sent that by mistake.

Do you believe that we will still have a state pension to retire on in 20-30 years? The way the government is going I wouldn't be surprised if they got rid of it entirely.

Hi PeachFuzzzz

To be completely honest, with the way things are going, I don't have high hopes that the state pension will still exist. There are politicians that seem hellbent on destroying anything created by the Welfare State and that's precisely why fights like these are so important. We have to challenge the neo-liberal attitudes which harm so many people at every opportunity.

Thanks so much for your questions. I tried to get through as many as I could and I hope it was as interesting for you as it was for me. smile

VertigoNun Tue 12-Jan-16 12:16:30

Thank you Mhairi, for being the first politician to acknowledge the recent terrible treatment in Europe.

Thank you MNHQ for organising this webchat and I look forward to hearing via MNHQ, the Guardian and BBC defend their poor reports on the matter.

MhairiBlackMP Tue 12-Jan-16 12:15:33

MetalMidget

If Scotland achieves independence, is there any chance you could claim the West Midlands as part of Scotland?

Please?

Hi MetalMidget

I appreciate the point you are making. I think the craving for alternatives to austerity exist throughout the whole of the UK and not just Scotland. I believe the best way for Scotland to get the policies it votes for is only possible through independence. In the event that Scotland does achieve independence, I truly believe and hope that this would give the courage and conviction to the parts of England that want change to pursue those changes and to demand the kind of representation they deserve.

If that's not possible, I think my granny has a spare room wink

RubySparks Tue 12-Jan-16 12:13:10

I work with mainly older people teaching IT skills including online job seeking. I had a lady aged 62 who retired from a civil service job on a small pension but now finds she needs another job as she doesn't get state pension until 66. She does already work a Saturday but can't get more hours there. She also said as she isn't claiming benefits that the job centre won't help her find a job! It seems very wrong that the change on pension age is happening so fast for a small group of women, can you campaign for a more phased in approach?

I also have the problem of being married to someone 10+ years older, he can retire in 3 years, I can retire in 16!

MhairiBlackMP Tue 12-Jan-16 12:11:36

RowanMumsnet

One more from Gransnet:

Thank you for all your support Mhairi. I am a 1953 woman. I took voluntary redundancy just before I was 59, thinking my redundancy money would see me through till 60. Then was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have finished treatment but the illness has impacted my energy and there are not too many jobs for 62 year old women.

I lost both my parents but really feel for the women who give up work to become carers. It is usually the woman who sacrifices her job to take on this role, and I think this is a fundamental reason why men and women's pension requirements are different. It is rare that the man gives up work. kayteeb

Hi kayteeb

Sorry to hear about your illness - hope things are going well.

You're absolutely correct. One of the rebuttals they Government gives to the arguments put forward by WASPI is that it's all okay because women will do better under the new single tier state pension due to come in April this year. But the Government fails to acknowledge the fact that women will only receive the higher state pension on the condition that they have paid 35 years' worth of NI. This clearly disadvantages many women like yourself who have not had the chance to build up that much NI because of things such as unpaid care. Unpaid carers save consecutive governments an absolute fortune when it comes to care - it's time the Government learned to appreciate this and treat people with the respect they deserve.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Jan-16 12:07:19

One more from Gransnet:

Thank you for all your support Mhairi. I am a 1953 woman. I took voluntary redundancy just before I was 59, thinking my redundancy money would see me through till 60. Then was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have finished treatment but the illness has impacted my energy and there are not too many jobs for 62 year old women.

I lost both my parents but really feel for the women who give up work to become carers. It is usually the woman who sacrifices her job to take on this role, and I think this is a fundamental reason why men and women's pension requirements are different. It is rare that the man gives up work. kayteeb

PeachFuzzzz Tue 12-Jan-16 12:06:30

Sorry sent that by mistake.

Do you believe that we will still have a state pension to retire on in 20-30 years? The way the government is going I wouldn't be surprised if they got rid of it entirely.

MhairiBlackMP Tue 12-Jan-16 12:05:37

SheSparkles

How would an independent Scotland finance itself now that the price of oil has dipped well below the £113 per barrel which SNP assured Scotland wouldn't happen?

Hi SheSparkles

Firstly, it's important to remember that all estimates of oil were incorrect, and in actual fact, the Scottish Government's estimates were more conservative than the UK Government's estimates. But secondly, all this drop in oil price serves to do is support the long-held argument of the SNP that we should have an oil fund in order to keep things steady for when the prices drop, like they just have. Lastly, it's important to remember that even if we removed all the revenue generated by oil, and imagine that Scotland had no oil whatsoever, we would still have a strong and diverse economy capable of sustaining an independent country.

FeministWummin Tue 12-Jan-16 12:03:37

elpth Surely that is the fault of the Scottish Labour party for failing so spectaurlarly to retain the - long held - dominance and support that they have been afforded in Scotland? The SNP supports PR, despite the fact it benefited from it in the Westminster elections.

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