“We are not going to admit any cuts in pensions”


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The unions have issued a harsh joint statement in which they demand clarity from the government in their messages and positions and have warned that they will not accept any cuts in pensions. After knowing yesterday the content of the ‘Operational Agreement’, the contract of the Spanish recovery plan, which reflects the commitment acquired by the
Government with Brussels
In order to extend the period for calculating benefits in 2022, the UGT and CCOO have published a communication in which they “incomprehensible” the “constant oscillation of messages and positions of the Government on such sensitive issues” and they emphasize that, contrary to what the Minister of Social Security has been defending, “they are not even included in the recommendations of the Toledo Pact voted in Congress in November 2020 ».

In addition, both unions call on the Government to comply, “as soon as possible”, with what was agreed in the agreement of last July and that still has important gaps and warn that “in no case, will they admit no measure that involves a cut in pensions, as it supposes to extend the period of calculation of the pensions, that has been announced ». Thus, the tension continues to increase dangerously in the seams that
they uphold social peace in Spain and in the final stretch of the first leg of the pension reform, which is now negotiating the intergenerational equity mechanism.

The trade union organizations recall that the commitment to an eventual extension of the period for calculating pensions to 35 years at the end of 2022 “does not appear explicit in Component 30 of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan”, which is why they consider that “the Government must respond and explain its commitment to the EU. «His ability to hinder himself is worthy of study.», They remarked in the hard joint communiqué.

Increase the years used to calculate the pension It is one of the most effective measures to cut the initial pension of new retirees and reduce the replacement rate (first pension versus last salary) in the Spanish pension system, which now stands at over 80%, according to the OECD . In practice this measure implies receiving lower income because workers, as a general rule, have worse wages in their first years of working life and better in the last. As reported by ABC, next year the years taken into account to calculate the pension will change and will be set at 25 years. Since 2013, a transitional period was opened until January 1, 2022, in which the required contribution period has progressively passed from 15 to 25 years.

UGT and CCOO flatly reject this possibility: «We know well how it works and what it means to act on the calculation period; to whom the pension expectation is reduced and to whom it is improved, as well as its effects in terms of reducing spending on pensions and the different ways of correcting it, but it is difficult to understand why a controversial measure when the Social Dialogue and the Toledo Pact have demonstrated their ability to intervene on multiple aspects of the pension system with the aim of maintaining and reinforcing its level of coverage in the future.

The escalation of tension around retirements seems to have caught the socialist wing of the Executive with the foot changed. The economic vice president, Nadia calviño, was this morning “surprised” and assured that “nothing has changed”, while the Minister of Social Security threw a dart at his former cabinetmate by saying that the controversy was “a summer snake set in motion by Pablo Iglesias». The former vice president has replied to the minister denying the major. “Snakes don’t even have short legs like lies”, has launched a comment on Twitter in reference to the words of the minister.

The truth is that the commitment, which is part of the agreement with the Commission to implement Spain’s recovery plan, already generated tension within the Executive at the end of last year, when they spoke of the possibility of raise from 25 to 35 years the aforementioned pension calculation period. This is an idea that Unidos Podemos rejects outright and that finally seemed to have been pushed aside precisely because of the disputes between the partners.

In parallel, the spokesperson for the Popular Group in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, has accused the Government of
“Hide pension cuts from Spaniards”
and has demanded urgent explanations from the Minister of Social Security. Specifically, in its letter, the PP requests that Escrivá report to the Toledo Pact on “the detail and scope of the document signed between the Government and the European Commission called ‘Operational Agreement’ on pensions and clarify whether the Government plans to extend the period of computation for the calculation of pensions, as required by the European Commission to be able to receive European funds ”. “It is time for the Sánchez government to explain and tell the truth about the future of pensioners,” Gamarra denounced.

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