During the May 1st festivities in Leuven yesterday (Monday), Bruno Tobback (Alternative Socialist Party) and the Federal Secretary of the Belgian Federation of Labour (FGTB), Miranda Ulens, raised their concerns about pensions. They say that the government does not focus upon pension payments which are too low.
In particular they denounced, “Removing the bonus pension, has led to a situation where those working receive even less remuneration in pension terms.”
The duo cited the example of two female Walloon friends. The one who worked for her entire working life will have a lower pension than the one who received unemployment benefit for several years.
Moreover, Miranda Ulens says that the average statutory pension for a woman only amounts to 700 euros, compared to 900 euros for men. She says, “This is serious. As Socialists we must not allow such a difference to exist.”
Considering the issue, Bruno Tobback states, “Is the government in the process of substantial reform to resolve these issues? Yes – in its own way. Thus in the future, there will not be 900 euros paid in pension to one person and 1,100 euros to another. There will thus be 900 euros for both individuals.”
Tobback is himself a former Minister for Pensions.
Lastly, he goes on to state that none of the coalition government parties have focused upon the most fundamental issue in the case quoted. The pensions for both Walloon friends are insufficient to cover their living costs.