Confusion over pension age increase

Unions and employers said on Tuesday night they will support a package of measures worked out by ministers and aimed at boosting the economy and reducing the growing budget deficit.

Agreement on the recession-busting deal was reached at around midnight, according to media reports.
But there is confusion about what has been decided on a suggested increase in the state pension age from 65 to 67.
Pay freeze
Financieele Dagblad sources said the package includes a pay freeze, a two year increase in the state pension age and more room for pension funds to bolster their reserves.
But according to Nos tv, an increase in the pension age has been ruled out. ‘One measure which there was no wide support for has been scrapped,’ the broadcaster quoted FNV trade union federation leader Agnes Jongerius as saying.
Other reports said the pension age has been agreed in principle but that the unions have been given the go ahead to put forward alternative ways of saving €3bn.
Ministers and party leaders have also agreed on a €5bn to €6bn package of measures to stimulate the economy, focusing on combating youth unemployment and stimulating the construction sector. The extra tax on flying introduced last year will also be scrapped, the FD said.
The total package of cuts to pay for the investments will also total around €5bn, the AD said.
Nos tv reports that the main points of the agreement are:

€5.5bn in investments and other measures to boost the economy:

  • Flight tax to be scrapped
  • Subsidies to destroy old cars and vans
  • Subsidies for insulating schools and private homes
  • Subsidies to renovate nursing homes
  • Extra money to curtail youth unemployment
  • Local taxes to be frozen
  • Extra money for dyke and sluice defences
  • Savings totalling €5bn to be made in 2011, election year, depending on economic growth:

  • A pay freeze in all new pay deals
  • No more money for civil servants
  • The state pension age to go up to 67 at some point
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