A centre-left coalition is calling for a cost of living adjustment entirely on the AHV pension. But the Federal Council rejected it.
Price jump without end: Inflation rose to 3.5 per cent in August. While many are boiling over the loss of purchasing power, the Federal Council is shedding its blood. “The Federal Council is of the opinion that the previous price increase is manageable for homes,” the government announced last week.
The Federal Council also wants to skimp on pensioners. An official pension adjustment is due in 2023. However, he does not want to know anything about compensation for the cost of living solely for AHV and IV pensions or supplemental benefits. He rejects the advances relating to the ranks of the Center and the SP.
Compared to other countries, inflation in Germany is moderate, writes the Federal Council on the Initiative. He refers to the so-called mixed index: according to it, pensions are adjusted every two years in wages and price developments. Except that wages have stagnated in recent years.
The Federal Council also recognized that “pension adjustments in 2023 may not be able to fully compensate for inflation” according to the composite index. The government believes that the fact that the wage level is rising faster than the price level “should remain an exception”. Hence deviation from the current system is “not a sign”.
One month pension gone
Hence there is less in the pockets of pensioners. Not only this, AHV is stingy. In the second column, inflation adjustments are not likely to materialize at many places. According to new calculations by the Trade Union Federation (SGB), an average pensioner couple is expected to have a monthly loss of purchasing power of 450 to 500 francs by 2024. As Sunday Blick recently reported, inflation eats up an entire month’s pension.
Pierre-Yves Maillard: “It’s all going in the wrong direction!”,01:38,
Trade unions are further upset that the government does not want to fully compensate for inflation in AHV pensions. “The Federal Council is disappointing pensioners,” says SGB chief economist Daniel Lampert (53) to Blick.
In the summer the government had enough time to deal with the problem. “Although inflation forecasts were revised by various parties, the Federal Council simply did nothing.”
The Federal Council’s decision also drew nods with the leader of the Mitte parliamentary group, Philippe Mathias Bregi (44). “The rising cost of living is also particularly affecting pensioners,” Wallace National Council says. With immediate and thorough cost of living adjustments, pensioners can be helped quickly. “So it’s all the more incomprehensible that the Federal Council doesn’t want to help.”
By rejecting the proposal, the Federal Council missed an opportunity. “Now Parliament has to fix it accordingly,” he says belligerently. “The Center does not allow the Federal Council to stand and watch as purchasing power dwindles.”
In the autumn session, the proposals come before the Parliament. But March Out turns out to be a nail-biter. In the National Council, the Centre, the SP and the Greens get exactly 100 votes out of 200 – dissimilar dissent can make up the difference. In the Council of States, the center-left majority is more comfortable with 27 out of 46 votes.
Incidentally, this would not be the first time that the federal government has allowed AHV cost-of-life adjustments in an emergency. Lampert cites one precedent: “In 1990, pensions were raised once earlier,” he says.
At that time, an extraordinary subsistence allowance of 6.25 per cent was given through councils in the winter session. The surcharge was paid in two installments from April 1991, after the referendum deadline.