Ayrshire campaigners from the Women Against State Pension Inequality group have reacted with "anger and dismay" to the suggestion that they could receive as little as £1,000 in compensation.

Women born in the 50s lost tens of thousands of pounds in their pensions when the Government moved their retirement age from 60 to 66.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman said last month that those affected should be compensated. But the recommended payouts of between £1,000 and £2,950 a person fall far short of the £10,000-plus that campaigners were calling for.

At a meeting in Kilmarnock on Saturday, March 30, the area's WASPI campaigners vowed to continue to fight for a substantially better compensation offer.

One member of the local group, Edwina Phillips, said after the meeting: "Whilst receiving back pension wasn’t discussed, the mere amount the report recommended, as little as £1,000, was met with anger and dismay.

"We should have all been notified about the changes back in 1995, not by the press or media but individually by letter.

"Many have faced extreme hardship, inability to plan, thousands of us have actually passed away.

"Justice and a modicum of financial help is not much to expect given we have all paid our National Insurance. We want justice now."

The meeting welcomed the news that with a general election in the offing, a lobby of Westminster by the national WASPI campaign is to be organised.

The ombudsman has been investigating the matter for several years, and in July 2021 it found the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) guilty of maladministration in the handling of the changes.

However, the ombudsman cannot compel the government to pay compensation, and said the DWP had clearly indicated it will “refuse to comply”, something which the WASPI campaign, and several MPs, described as “unacceptable”.

To access the Cunninghame WASPI Facebook page and get more information email cunninghamewaspi@outlook.com.