The Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday passed the bill that will allow for a gradual increase in basic solidarity pensions. The initiative was approved by 78 votes in favour and 71 against. However, beyond the approval of the Government’s project, the hanging of a group of Christian Democracy (DC) parliamentarians, plus the independent Pepe Auth, prompted the opposition’s proposed indication that sought the 50% increase in solidarity basic pension would benefit all retirees without distinction by age – and which had been approved by the Labour Committee – to be rejected in the lower house room.
Thus, adults over 80 will benefit from a 50% increase in the amount of their pension, 35% for the 75 to 79 age stretch and 25% for those over 65 years of age. Another increase will take place in January 2021 and one more in January 2022, when all will reach a total 50%.
The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Iván Flores (DC), considered that the approach of opposition mPs was inadmissible, as it lacked the Constitution, arguing that such initiatives were about financial administration or this is a “social security rules-inlay change,” which is presidential prerogative.
In that vein, 75 parliamentarians from Chile Vamos, part of the DC and Pepe Auth considered the initiative to be inadmissible. On the other hand, 70 opposition mPs, including elsewhere in DC, voted in favour of the indication, while Ximena Ossandón (RN) and Daniel Verdessi (DC) abstained.
With the approval in the House, the bill will be passed to the Senate. The increase in the solidarity pillar is expected to take concrete in the last weeks of December.
Criticism of the opposition
In the opposition they were not happy with the passage of the law. From that sector they sought to increase 50% without graduality and without distinction by age.
Following the vote, MEP Karol Cariola (PC) said that “we will appeal to the government again. President Piñera was offering bonds today. He knows that the country is going through a difficult time, there are social mobilizations. Older adults and adults have claimed dignity. What we wanted to do today was give them a little dignity with the immediate increase of 50% of their pension. However Chile Vamos refused to do so, because they differentiated the majors between 65 and 70 years old and the over 80s. I don’t know what the difference between a 65th and a senior of 80 … we believe everyone deserved to have an immediate 50% increase in their pensions.”
Meanwhile, DC Gabriel Silber argued that “in the Committee on Labour we will not lower our arms. We will continue to move the barrier of the impossible to make it possible, as has already been the case of the basic solidarity pension, where there are older adults who were going to receive 130 thousand pesos and today, thanks to the colleagues and colleagues who accompanied us in this process , they will receive 160 thousand pesos. We think we’ve made the catch (…) it doesn’t work out here at the tip of bonds, the bonds are bread for today and hunger for tomorrow.”