The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, defended today in the Congress of Deputies the first leg of the pension reform and has revealed some clues about what is one of the keys to this law, but about which still There are many unknowns: the new intergenerational equity mechanism. According to Escrivá, his ministry works on a “contingent mechanism”, which will be activated only in moments of crisis that put the accounts of the system to the test. “It will be activated only if the evolution of the income and expenses of the system so requires” and only in “the years in which the system will bear the most demographic pressure”, in order to “especially protect” young people.
A few words that once again direct the gaze to the baby boom generation, whose retirement at the end of this decade will pose an unprecedented demographic challenge for the national pension system. The minister already recognized in summer, in statements that raised a strong dust, that this generation would have to choose between “working a little more” or “charging a little less.”
The minister has not given more details about this new mechanism, which will replace the sustainability factor introduced by the 2013 reform, in what has been precisely one of the main criticisms of the popular deputy, Thomas Cabezón, in charge of defending the amendment to the totality that requires the return of the project as it is based on an “incomplete reform” and “by installments”. “Some ministers of the blue bank are waiting for me to tell them what the mechanism is like,” Cabezón said ironically about the reluctance that this mechanism is generating among the purple members of the coalition. «The most important thing in the law is not in the law. And they are going to put it through the back door via amendment, “he remarked. It should be remembered that
the Minister of the Presidency criticized the lack of information on this mechanism in the report that accompanies the law itself.
The truth is that time is short as the Government has promised to replace the sustainability factor with the aforementioned intergenerational equity mechanism before November 15. Social Security must negotiate it with employers and unions, although they denounce not having any proposal on the table yet, but if they do not reach an agreement, the Executive should design this mechanism alone, as it has promised with Brussels. The popular have attacked this design of the Government’s pension reform because they consider that it is contrary to what agreed in the Toledo PactIn addition, they do not include sufficient financial sustainability measures to divert the system into bankruptcy. The initiative, however, has met with the rejection of the majority of the groups.
Escrivá, visibly angry, has accused the popular people of submitting pensions to “the scorched earth policy” and of taking “pensioners hostage”, while considering that “it makes no sense to block” the reform and with it , “The arrival of European funds.” The minister has also tried point out their controversial statements on the “cultural change” necessary in Spain to work until age 75 and has insisted that it does not advocate lengthening the retirement age.
“Spain does not need to change its legal retirement age, as it is adequate and sufficient”, although it has defended promoting its delay “for those who want to continue working and not for those who, by nature of their work or vital circumstances, cannot do so.” Escrivá has rejected a delay of legal ageBut “open this debate, it is important to say that expelling older workers from the labor market does not encourage the employment of younger workers.”
Beyond the parliamentary polemics, the debate has also shown that the minister is far from having secured sufficient support from the groups to carry out his reform. As well as the cracks within the coalition government itself. Regular government partners such as ERC, have been clearly against the proposed reform. The deputy Jordi Salvador recalled that his training “is not in this pact. Nor did we vote in favor of the Toledo Pact agreement.
United We can also issued serious warnings to Escrivá and reminded him that it will not support any initiative that involves cuts. “In the name of technocracy, the biggest cuts to democracy have been consummated,” said the deputy. Isabel Franco Carmona. “I am glad that he has denied the statements, but we assure that with United We Can that will never happen” On the mechanism, the message has been identical: “It will not translate into a single euro of cuts,” he remarked.