The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, has tried this morning to make amends for the mess caused yesterday by recognizing that the
baby boomers will suffer pension adjustments or, on the contrary, they will have to choose to work more. Asked about it during the presentation of the unemployment and affiliation data, Escrivá has acknowledged his mistake and insisted that the message he wanted to convey was one of “certainty” about pensions. «I have to admit that yesterday I did not have my best day and I did not convey that certainty about something that is yet to be defined. I probably did not express myself well or was misunderstood. They were reflections out loud, “he said.
Along with him, the Third Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has also been asked and
has avoided entering the controversy. “I do not have to make reflections, I think the minister has already said what he had to say,” he has settled. Its position in this regard is key because United We can have always shown a total rejection of cuts in pensions. In fact, the parliamentary spokesperson of this formation, Aina Vidal, already warned this week in Congress that she would be vigilant about the terms in which the negotiation of the intergenerational equity mechanism takes place. In the surroundings of Escrivá, it is recognized that the minister is concerned about the position that Unidos Podemos may finally play in the parliamentary processing of this reform, which will incorporate this new spending control mechanism via amendment.
Escrivá’s words yesterday generated a real earthquake among social agents and overshadowed the first pension agreement since 2011, for which Moncloa had designed a careful staging. After the signing of the pact, the general secretaries of UGT and CC.OO., Pepe Álvarez and Unai Sordo, rejected the cuts to the ‘baby boom’ generation and the
CEOE issued a statement in which he highlighted the “confusion generated by the unfortunate statements” made by Minister Escriva on the same day that the pension pact was signed. “CEOE and Cepyme want to clarify that said claim is not part of the agreement reached nor is it shared.” He also pointed out that the new adjustment mechanism “must be based on equity and intergenerational solidarity, avoiding, in any case, that the sustainability of the system falls only on some generations.”
The problem of the arrival to retirement of this generation is not new, but the lack of measures to address it coincides with the breadth of the group and key if what is being talked about is votes. The ‘baby boomers’ will begin to retire in 2023 and after long careers of contributions, as they were also the first generation to access university and took the most qualified jobs, which will now entitle them to higher pensions in a moment in which the birth rate in Spain languishes and precariousness is the trend of the labor market.
The only government that tried to stop the increase in spending that its incorporation into the pension system will cause was that of Rajoy. To cope with the avalanche of ‘baby-boomer’ and strengthen the pillars of the system after the 2008 crisis, it designed a tool to adjust the pension to life expectancy that should have entered into force in 2019 and was postponed to 2023 after a budget agreement between the PP and the PNV that would later be frustrated.