Between 1.2 (according to the interior ministry) and 2 million people (according to the General Confederation of Labour) turned out in dozens of French cities last Thursday to march against President Emmanuel Macron’s project to delay the retirement age from 62 to 64. 43 years of contribution is required to get an advance full pension till 2027.
Even with this reform, which was part of the president’s re-election platform last year, France will still lag behind most of Europe in raising the retirement age, but the issue is very sensitive in a society that Highly appreciates and is especially proud of. Pension System.
The conflict between the French government and organized workers defending their earned rights is not just a technical question, as the conservative neoliberal Macron claims. It is true that the continued increase in life expectancy puts extraordinary pressure on pension funds and public budgets, as many people today spend as much or more time than they do within the economically active population; That is, they contribute to the pension system for a lesser period of time than they benefit, thus creating a financial imbalance. It is also a fact that demographic aging generates new health and care costs, which in developed countries are largely absorbed by the state.
However, those who have been fighting for decades to transfer the full cost of these changes to workers leave out important relevant data. For example, proposals to raise the retirement age rarely mentioned company discrimination against job seekers over 40, and the near-impossibility of gaining access to formal status if over 60. Ho. This means that extending working life is not just an individual decision for workers, but a structural problem that could leave millions without a decent retirement as employers deny them the opportunity to meet contribution years. Likewise, it is hidden that financing for pensions is a matter of priorities, as Macron himself made clear: a day after mass protests in opposition to his project, the president announced that for 2024-2030 The military budget would be the third largest part that was programmed, with a 60 percent increase in intelligence, and the strengthening of nuclear deterrence systems, cyber capabilities or equipment in various regions of the world. Elysium tells citizens that millions of workers must be sacrificed so that the elite can continue their imperialist endeavors and their costly alignment with Washington’s geopolitical agenda.
Above all, the neoliberal propaganda is silent that the pension crisis is taking place in the context of successive tax cuts for the wealthiest sectors, which has had the twin effect of creating an unprecedented concentration of wealth and draining the public coffers. social cost. This month, the global organization Oxfam denounced that fiscal philanthropy with the owners of large capitals, combined with other mechanisms of over-distribution of wealth, has left 2,655 people with a net worth of more than a billion dollars 2,700 million (51 thousand 300 million ) allowed to earn. pesos) a day during the pandemic. Over the same period, the richest one percent of the world’s population grabbed 63 percent of the new wealth generated, and company profit margins increased by 60 percent, while wages saw only a 4 percent increase.
In this context, it is clear that, before salaried benefits can be reduced, vast inequality has to be tackled and an economic model that is harmful to nine tenths of humanity, as well as intrinsic to the social fabric and the environment. Is hostile to, should be thoroughly reviewed.