MALTA - No pensions crisis will arise until 2025 and therefore a reform of the system is not an immediate necessity and should be put off until 2011, according to the opposition party.
Alfred Sant, Malta Labour Party (MLP) leader broke the silence with a much awaited stance on the proposed pensions reform.
Last October the Nationalist government published a white paper on the subject, sketching the introduction of second pillar pensions. The MLP leader said his party will vote against the proposals outlined and will table amendments in line with the position of the MLP parliamentary group.
In reaction, the Nationalist government claimed Sant’s claims to be irresponsible. It said he was interested in votes instead of ensuring the sustainability of the pension system.The trade unions have reportedly disapproved of the MLP’s call to freeze the reform.
“We cannot keep postponing it,” said Joe Farrugia, president, Malta Employers Association.The parliamentary group which drew up MLP’s position on the reform proposed “wide consultation” should be held in 2009 and the implementation of the reform should begin in 2011.
The MLP claimed this was because pensions should be considered in the context of a wider social policy reform and not in isolation.Meanwhile, the government white paper should be presented to the cabinet for discussion before the house of representatives’ summer recess.
By Angele Spiteri Paris
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