Fri 30th Jun 2017
The ULP regime’s pension reform, changing the age at which one can claim pension from age 60 years to 65 years, is very cynical and sad.
When people reach old age, their health gets worse. It is very probable that a number of people who would have collected a pension at age 60, may not live to collect a pension, when the change is made to a pension age of 65.
It is very cynical for the ULP regime to change the pension age from 60 to 65, knowing that this unnecessary change will mean fewer people will be alive to claim their pension. It is sad that people are being forced to pay over 50% more in contributions, for a pension they may never live long enough to claim.
The argument given by the ULP regime is that, to guarantee pensions, the pension age must move from 60 years to 65 years. Everyone knows that this is rubbish.
There is a very simple solution to guarantee pensions for all at the age of 60 years: - the SVG government should tax Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and collect EC$2 billion a year in taxes from these parasites.
The ULP regime is afraid to do this and choose to punish our people instead. It is a shameful situation.
Gonsalves said on SVGBC television news on Friday 23 June 2017, that pension reform is political dynamite. It is not political dynamite, it is simply about having respect for the working people of SVG and allowing them an acceptable standard of living in their golden years of retirement, from the age of 60 and beyond.
The UK newspaper, The Guardian, reported that ‘increases in the state pension age could push it to the point where many working people die before qualifying for it’. It is very cynical of the ULP regime to make people wait until the age of 65 to claim their pension, knowing more people will not live to claim the pension at the higher age of 65 years.
Poorer people will be more adversely affected by the increase in pension age as their life expectancy is lower than that of richer people.
Gonsalves also said on SVGBC television news on Friday 23 June 2017, that for every dollar the ULP government receives in tax, 60 cents is paid out in wages. This is a very high ratio.
The solution to this problem though, is not to raise the pension age from 60 to 65 and hope more people die before receiving their pension. The solution is to increase the amount of tax the government collects. Government should tax Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and collect EC$2 billion a year in taxes.
A Green government would reverse this pension reform and keep it at age 60 years. We would tax Taiwan and the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan and collect EC$2 billion a year in taxes to fund this.
The country urgently needs a live TV debate with Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal, Leader of SVG Green Party, the SVG Minister of Finance Ralph Gonsalves and the Hon. Leader of the Opposition Dr Godwin Friday, about whether the pension age should be 60 years or 65 years and how to fund pensions.