The opposition Nieuw Vlaams Alliantie (N-VA) has come out against pension reforms proposed by Minister Karine Lalieux which, it said, reflected a “total absence of a sense of responsibility.”
“Once again, we want to spend money we do not have, without any valid adaptation to make the reform sustainable for future generations,” the Flemish nationalist party charged. “It’s ‘after us the deluge!’”
Under the proposed reforms, a worker employed for at least 10 years would be eligible for a minimum pension, anyone with at least 42 years’ service would be entitled to retire from the age of 60, and an employee who chooses to work beyond their retirement date would receive a pension bonus.
For the N-VA, the proposals give the impression that people can work less for a nicer pension, “but it’s our children and grandchildren who will foot the bill for the PS’ (Socialist Party’s) little party.”
It added that the proposals made by the Minister Lalieux, whose portfolio includes Pensions, have gutted the reforms implemented by the first Henri Michel government to keep the pension system financially sustainable.
It denounced, in particular, new conditions that would provide more people with access to a minimum pension. “Contrary to what is needed, real work is not being rewarded by better pensions,” the party added. “This is a slap in the face for those who have contributed for decades to our society.”
The N-VA also stressed that, while the Government was banking on an 80% employment rate to keep the pension system sustainable, there was nothing in the plan to show how that rate would be achieved. It noted that it was already extremely hard to fill many vacancies, while the employment rate was now only 70%.