€7.2 billion to take all pensioners out of poverty

€7.2 billion to take all pensioners out of poverty
Robert Vertenueil of the FGTB states that the organisation has prepared specific calculations in conjunction with the National Pensions Office.© Belga

The socialist trade union, the FGTB, says that the total cost of its three pensions “avenues”, including the minimum pension of 1,500 euros, would come to €7.2 billion. In L’Echo on Tuesday, the FGTB’s General Secretary, Robert Vertenueil, says, “Some individuals and bodies are plucking figures out of the air, without really knowing what they are talking about…We, on the other hand, have produced calculations in conjunction with the National Pensions Office. Nothing is fabricated.”

Of the €7.2 billion, €2.2 billion (€1.6 billion allocated to the employed and 610 million for the self-employed) would be necessary for the flagship proposal: an upwards review of the minimum pension, from the current €1,212 to €1,500. The two other “avenues” are the progressive increase of the replacement rate, by some €4.9 billion annually, and harmonising the earnings cap taken into account for the pension amounts distributed amongst the employed and self-employed, to €57,415. This last measure would only cost, if rolled out swiftly over five years, €1.25 million.

Vertenueil firmly takes the view that financing the total cost of €7.2 billion is a “matter of political choice.” Moreover, he believes that a portion of the pensions reviewed upwards would actually be re-injected into the real economy. “We should be responding to the needs of the population, and we should be running the economy budgeting for not having, to date, taken account of the elderly’s requirements…”

The Brussels Times

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