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Monday, December 5, 2022

Šarec’s coalition rejected the SDS’ bill on redress of injustices of pensioners with the lowest pensions twice

By: Sara Rančigaj / Nova24tv

At the National Assembly, together with her SAB parliamentary group, MP Maša Kociper submitted a bill amending the Pension and Disability Insurance Act, which primarily regulates the issue of recipients of the lowest pensions and those who retire due to old age. Similarly, two years ago the SDS parliamentary group came to the aid of the most socially vulnerable, however, the coalition at the time, which also included the SAB, did not support the proposal – twice.

In June 2020, MP Maša Kociper, together with her SAB parliamentary group, submitted to the National Assembly a bill amending the Pension and Disability Insurance Act, which was already discussed twice in a similar form, when a similar proposal had been submitted by the SDS parliamentary group for the first time in November 2018 and for the second time in March 2019, when SDS MPs were still in opposition.

It is interesting that the opposition party is currently filing a law on pension insurance amendments, while it itself rejected it twice when they were in the coalition. The law envisaged by the SDS dealt with a proposal to protect the most vulnerable – recipients of the lowest disability pension, as it is much lower than the minimum pension and it is at-risk-of-poverty threshold. This proposal would also increase the minimum old-age pension.

Similar to what has already been proposed by the SDS, the SAB parliamentary group would raise the percentage for the assessment of the old-age pension and raise the minimum disability pension to 500 euros. According to the SDS party, there are about ten thousand recipients of the minimum pension in Slovenia, which means that setting a new minimum disability pension would bring an additional annual burden of 12 million euros in the budget.

Why did the parliamentary group not accept the proposal more than two years ago?

The biggest question in the mentioned bills is why the SAB parliamentary group or the coalition at the time did not accept the proposal submitted by the SDS parliamentary group. The opposition, which at the moment so fully blames the current government for its incompetence, during its mandate had rejected the proposals of the then opposition, and now it is submitting it itself.

Unlike the previous government, this one is ready to cooperate and will in all probability support this proposal, which they were never able to do on the left wing, because, as they said in the SDS party, they want to correct the injustices. SMC MP Mojca Žnidarič made a similar point, saying that she was most pleased with the fact that the coalition was ready to accept the opposition’s good proposals. “Which I missed so much in the previous government,” she added.

Eva Irgl, chair of the Committee on Labour, Family and Social Affairs, also hopes that the minimum pensions would be raised to at least the level of social assistance and is convinced that the proposal will be accepted. “I hope that today the opposition will support an amendment that will make this possible, as it has not been in favour of this in the past,” Irgl pointed out at the committee. SDS MP Karmen Furman criticised the SAB party for its past actions, despite the fact that she supports the bill: “When the opposition filed a similar law at the time, you did not express interest in pensioners and even violated coalition commitments. You also saved millions at the expense of retirees.”

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