Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Tweeddale and Lauderdale

WASPI campaign

I’m sure most of you know what WASPI stands for but just in case it’s 'Women against State Pension Inequality'. This is not against equalising the pension age for men and women. However with next to no notice, women who were expecting their pension at 60 are now having it raised to 66 by October 2020. Now when these women started paying 'the Stamp' they arranged their planning for retirement for 60. While they accept equalisation, it should have been phased in not the way it has been done. Add the introduction of Universal Credit, so if a women is receiving pension and pension credit but is married to a younger man, not of pensionable age, she will lose UC so the couple could lose in the order of £7,000 a year. By the way the state pension itself is NOT a benefit but an entitlement paid for in the contract between us and the state, another reason why it should not have been changed unilaterally. Now Tories are claiming that the Scottish Government should mitigate any hardship caused by the Westminster Tory Government on these women. Well first, it would be illegal, because pensions are reserved and not 'a benefit' and second, whit a barefaced cheek and to top it off there is enough money in the NI coffers in surplus to mitigate.

NHS Borders

Well, it seems all is not well not only with the board, which has been hauled over the coals by the Parliament’s Health Committee which I attended, but now the audiology department is making headline news along with the board’s whistle-blowing policy. It is an issue I have been engaged in for some months. This is not good news when so much that the BGH does, and the commitment of the staff, is second to none.

Mollie McIntosh

Ah well, she had a good run reaching 99 and stayed pretty sprightly till near the end. We got on like a house on fire and though I would never convert her to Independence she came to all my Walkerburn meetings on the subject. Last time we spoke it was a good few months back when we met at one of my supermarket surgeries. Cheery and cheeky a usual she stopped for a chat. Stupidly I asked her how she got there. She pointed to her car parked in the disabled bay. Of course!