By Constantinos Psillides
OLD-AGE pensions will not be slashed they will be simply be targeted, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou said on Saturday after an outcry over reported cuts.
Asked about the government’s proposed plan to cut €10 million from pension benefits, the minister said a decision was not yet final.
Discussion was still ongoing and the ministry’s aim was to make sure spending was targeted so that lower income classes could benefit.
“Pensions up to now were given to everyone, regardless of financial situation. What we are saying is that that money will be better spent on other groups who are really suffering, like the unemployed.
The government proposal infuriated political parties and pensioners. Constantinos Skarparis, head of EKYSY (the pensioners union) said that under no circumstance would the plan be accepted. “They didn’t ask us about it, they didn’t even meet with us. There will be heated reaction if the government goes through with this,” Skarparis warned.
AKEL, EDEK and their respective unions PEO and DEOK already spoke against the proposal, with AKEL general secretary Andros Kyprianou promising his party would vote against any such proposal brought before the House.
PEO boss Pampis Kyritsis claimed that 3,000 women would be left without a pension.