17 May 2006

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Business Today

Labour spokesperson cancels attendance on pension reform seminar

Matthew Vella

Labour MP Karl Chircop has cancelled his appearance for the Business Today breakfast seminar on pension reform after saying the Malta Labour Party had no policy on the issue.
The MP had accepted the invitation to address the business breakfast on 24 May along with economist Prof. Edward Scicluna, and Family and Social Solidarity Minister Dolores Cristina.
The breakfast seminar, organised jointly between Bank of Valletta and Business Today is intended to address the future of pension reform in Malta since the publication of the government white paper on pensions. The seminar will still go ahead as planned.
In an interview with Business Today in March, Labour leader Alfred Sant said the Labour Party would be drawing up its own study and coming out with proposals by May.
It seems that by 24 May the MLP’s policy on pension reform will still be on the drawing board.
While pension reform seems to be high on the government’s agenda, the Labour Party has not yet come up with an alternative to the proposals contained in a final document on pension reform, which includes very radical proposals like the increase of the pensionable age to 65, and the calculation of the two-thirds pension worked out on the basis of an entire 40 working yeas, rather than the lucrative “best three years” of one’s working life.
Labour MP Marie-Louise Coleiro had told MaltaToday back in February that the MLP had always linked the pension problem to wider economic realities. “If the economic situation is bad, the government will collect less in social security contributions.”


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