Not enough senate support to break pension link to minimum wage

Pensioners on a bench
Pensioners on a bench

Support for the new government’s decision to stop linking state pension increases to the minimum wage may not be forthcoming in the upper house of parliament, current affairs show Nieuwsuur reported on Tuesday night.

The Labour party and far right JA21 both say they do not support the plan to break the link between the AOW and the minimum wage, which is scheduled to rise 7.5% over the next four years.

The new administration controls 32 of the 75 seats in the upper house of parliament and needs the backing of opposition parties to get controversial legislation onto the statute books. JA21 has seven seats in the senate, the PvdA six.

Currently pensions rise in line with increases in the minimum wage but stopping this would save €3bn a year, economists say.

PvdA leader Lilianne Ploumen told the programme she considered it unfair to hit people who ‘worked hard all their lives and have a small pension’.

‘These are people who can do nothing to improve their financial position because they have already stopped work and depend on their pension,’ she said.

Joost Eerdmans, of JA21, said his party would only consider talking about the issue if the government brought in tough new immigration rules, like those in Denmark.

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