The Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, has presented this Wednesday his pension reform -which already has the approval of the UGT and CCOO- before the deputies that make up the Commission of the Toledo Pact, where he has defended that his reform It is “historic” and has ensured that it will guarantee the sustainability of Social Security by 2070, harshly criticizing those economists who have questioned the adjustment between income and expenses.

“This reform has been carried out thanks to the work of a very professional, multidisciplinary team, of statisticians, economists, actuaries… from the Ministry of Social Security and also from the research services of the unions and the European Commission. Put you on one pan [of the scale] all these specialists and on the other the hasty, opportunistic calculations, made on a personal computer in a house… This is not serious”, the minister reproached, alluding to the doubts of some experts that this medium has already reported.

The minister regretted that “never” nor Fedea, nor BBVA Research, nor any other study service have asked him for a meeting to analyze the reform and share the numbers. How long did the BBVA research service take to carry out this study, in which it says that 200,000 jobs are going to be destroyed? Since he says that for each increase in social contributions of 1 point of GDP, GDP and employment decrease in the same proportion. With the Commission we have taken months to do this work, BBVA days and without knowing the norm. Fedea the same, at the same time, and what a coincidence that in line with the same messages from the PP”, he pointed out to the spokesman for that party in the Commission, who had asked him about those opinions.

Escrivá has defended before the parliamentarians that the reform “is very prudent, very gradual and very manageable” and “that it will not at any time put the productive fabric of any company in Spain at risk”, with which “it does not change the profile of the country’s competitiveness. In this sense, he accused companies of falling into “hyperbole”, regretting that the rise in social contributions contemplated by the norm will affect employment.

The minister reviewed the measures included in the regulation and assured that, as a whole, pension spending as a percentage of GDP will stand at 12 points of GDP in 2047 -the worst moment in the system due to babyboom retirements- and will drop to 10, 9 points in 2070.

He recalled, however, that the rule includes a “closing clause”, which is the one that stipulates that the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF) will prepare a report on the sustainability of the system every three years from 2025. In the event that spending on pensions over GDP exceeds 15% or there is a mismatch between income and expenditure, AIReF will make a series of recommendations and the government in power will negotiate with the Toledo Pact which ones are applied.

“If they do not reach an agreement, this imbalance will be corrected with additional increases in the MEI,” Escrivá specified, that is, by increasing the additional contribution that has already been in force since January 1 and that will be progressively raised until it reaches 1.2 %, of which 1 point is paid by the company and 0.2 points by the employee. The proceeds in this way will go to the Social Security Guarantee Fund, known as the ‘pension piggy bank’.

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