Saturday, October 16

The bad memory of the PP with the pensioners

Less than a year ago, at the end of October 2020, the PP of Pablo Casado supported the 22 recommendations of the parliamentary commission of the Toledo Pact on the reform of the pension system, including the one that advises linking the increases to the CPI so that the pensioners do not lose purchasing power. It thus recovered the transversal consensus of the vast majority of the parliamentary arch in a matter as delicate as this, a consensus that the PP itself had broken in 2013, with the reform of the system imposed by the Government of Mariano Rajoy.

A few days ago, the PP was moving away from its own recent postulates and the consensus of less than a year ago, and presented in the Congress of Deputies an amendment to the entirety to try to overthrow the bill of the Government of Pedro Sánchez, agreed with unions and employers and committed to the EU authorities, with the first package of the reform of the system, which among other measures re-links pensions to inflation. The PP amendment was rejected, only supported by its deputies and those of Vox, but the uncertainty is already spreading again among many current and future pensioners: the main party of the right, and habitual in the alternation of power, does not compromise in the guarantee of the purchasing power of those many millions of citizens who live or will soon live on their public pension.

The Popular Party has a poor memory for some issues, or selective memory. Remember what is good for you and forget what perhaps you shouldn’t forget. He has forgotten, for example, that one of the groups with which the image of the Government of Mariano Rajoy deteriorated the most in his last months was that of the pensioners, who noisily took to the streets to protest a reform, that of 2013 , which had already impoverished them and threatened to literally plunge them into misery in a few years. Approved without agreement with the social agents, the 2013 reform included two major novelties. One, that the annual update of pensions was decoupled from the CPI and was limited to an increase of only 0.25% if the Social Security registered a deficit (and all these years it has been like that since then). And two: the so-called “sustainability factor” was put into operation, by which in the future the pension was linked to life expectancy, which meant a new devaluation of the amounts to be paid. This second, scheduled for 2019, was never implemented. The Rajoy reform added new cuts to those of Zapatero, who in 2010 had frozen the pensions of 2011 and who had approved at the end of his mandate a reform by which the calculation period for pensions was extended and the age of work was progressively raised. retirement from 65 to 67 years.

The PP has also forgotten that the Constitution, in addition to article 155, has an article 50 that literally says: “The public powers will guarantee, through adequate and periodically updated pensions, the economic sufficiency of citizens during the third age”. The economic sufficiency of senior citizens is difficult to sustain if the pension increases are 0.25% per year, as was the case with the Rajoy reform, and the CPI was always much higher and sometimes was around 3%, as of early 2017.

In addition to being contradictory with its position less than a year ago and unfair in light of what the Magna Carta says, the new attack by the PP against the pockets of pensioners seems a serious miscalculation. For both the PSOE and the PP, the group of voters over 65 is the great barn on which the final result of an election often depends. The two large traditional parties have greater support there than the average for the national total. A very recent example. In its last Barometer, last September, the CIS spontaneously gave the PSOE 20.5% of the total votes, but much more, 26.0% among those over 65 years of age. And to the PP, 12.8% in the total and also quite a bit more, 15.9%, among those over 65 years of age. In the PSOE they must be rubbing their hands in contentment with the new position of the PP against linking pensions to the cost of living. It is an electoral gift from Casado to Sánchez.

“We are older, but we are not morons.” “There is no money for pensions, but there is money to rescue banks and the highway.” These were some of the slogans that on February 22, 2018, were chanted by the dozens of thousands of retirees who had taken to the streets of 86 Spanish cities summoned by the State Coordinator for the Defense of the Public Pension System to denounce their “misery pensions” . The attendance was massive. The success surprised not only the Government and the main political parties but even the two large unions, the UGT and the Workers’ Commissions, which a few days before, on the 15th, had held theirs with less influx. Some of those tides of pissed off retirees – those of Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao, Seville … – recalled those of 15M, almost seven years before. In Madrid, the protesters achieved what the indignant movement that emerged on May 15, 2011 tried unsuccessfully on several occasions: cutting the Carrera de San Jerónimo, surrounding Congress, partially breaking the police security cordon and getting so close to the The main door, that of the lions, who blocked it, forcing some deputies who were leaving the Chamber to do so through the back of the building. The flock power -the power of the elderly who organize to actively intervene in politics- in all its splendor.

A few months later, the Government of Rajoy fell due to the motion of censure of the PSOE after the sentence of Gürtel, and Pedro Sánchez arrived at Moncloa. The opposition to all of the PP of Casado has now led him to give a skid in the pensions that in the long run reinforces Sánchez in power.

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