SPEAKING to reporters yesterday (Tuesday) after his first cabinet meeting, Pedro Sánchez has informed that the new leftist coalition government has approved raising pensions this year in line with inflation, an expected 0.9% rise in pensions, a move that had been on hold until a government was formed.
The announcement was expected, and has allowed the new coalition government to start its term with good news.
When the Cabinet meeting ended, the Socialist leader told a news conference that the country’s 11 million pensioners will see their pensions rise by 0.9 percent in 2020, the expected inflation rate for the year, to ensure they “do not lose purchasing power,”
“If the inflation rate ends up being higher than 0.9 percent, pensioners will receive a payment in early 2021 to make up the difference,” he added.
Pensions in Spain stopped being linked to inflation in 2014 as part of austerity measures during the country’s financial crisis and was introduced by the previous conservative party in government.
Following the repeat November general election, raising pensions in line with inflation was one of the measures included in the coalition agreement signed between Sanchez’s Socialists and anti-austerity party Podemos.
Pensioners have staged regular street protests in recent years to demand higher pensions. Spain’s ageing population and falling birth rate has also sparked concerns on several occasions calling for a reform of the system.
Sanchez said his government would work to ensure the pensions system is “sustainable”.
The PM also took the opportunity to said that he now has “no reservations” about the leader of his coalition partner Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, despite statements he made last year.