ARGENTINA - Argentina's lower house approved an opposition-backed bill to boost the country's minimum monthly pension payments and link them to the minimum wage, a move the government said would bankrupt the current system.
Lawmakers passed the bill early today. The proposal raises pensions to 82% of the minimum wage, which was increased to 1,740 pesos ($443) starting in September and 1,840 pesos beginning in January, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced on August 5.
If the legislation passes the opposition-controlled Senate, retirees will receive a minimum payment of 1,427 pesos per month compared with the current 1,046 pesos, an increase that Fernandez and her husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, said the social security system can't afford.
"It would be good if they bring ideas and sustainable proposals that don't alter the fiscal surplus," Fernandez said yesterday in a speech at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires. "If they approve the projects that they are discussing, in three months we would be in default."
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