Pension inequalities

By the end of this year, thousands of pensioners born before 1962 will be getting around €4,200 less pension annually than pensioners born from 1962 onwards (based on the highest contributory rate).

When I brought this issue up, Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon’s first reaction was to say I was not being truthful. 

Luckily, he has now admitted that this is a reality. He has, therefore, pledged to start redressing this discrimination as from next budget, next month.

Hundreds of millions of euros have been showered for nothing by Falzon’s government on Vitals/Steward; tens of millions are being wasted on useless persons of trust; other millions have been fraudulently stolen by Falzon’s party canvassers and ministerial lackeys in the vote buying disability racket.

Thus, Falzon cannot state, with a straight face, that there is no money to address the injustice against vulnerable pensioners. However, what he has promised is a gradual increase year by year. 

The catch lies in the fact that no fixed time frame for this operation has been mentioned. Of course, immediate and full redress would be the right solution. 

However, given the circumstances, the big gap between pre- and post-1962 pensions must be redressed in no more than two or three years maximum, with a minimum 30 per cent of the sum involved to be given as from this upcoming budget.

Social Policy Michael Falzon cannot state, with a straight face, that there is no money to address the injustice against vulnerable pensioners. Photo: Matthew MirabelliSocial Policy Michael Falzon cannot state, with a straight face, that there is no money to address the injustice against vulnerable pensioners. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Any longer period established would give the impression that the government is cynically buying time, in the hope that a number of elderly pensioners would bite the dust in the meantime, thus saving the exchequer millions.

With so many political opportunists and hangers-on making pigs of themselves at taxpayers’ expense, the reasoning of Falzon and that of his parliamentary colleagues is simply unacceptable.

If our country has a minimum shred of social conscience, the interests of pre-1962 born pensioners and other vulnerable categories must come first. Anything less is abusive.

Arnold Cassola – Swieqi

Time to be proud?

No, Anna Marie Galea, EuroPride is not a matter of men wearing skirts or others wearing wigs or make up (September 10). That would have made the EuroPride ceremonies in Malta and Gozo an extended carnival celebration. But no government or large renowned firms would invest so much money in such a celebration.

The high level of national and international organisation and media coverage suggest that more is at stake than harmless travesties and party making.

Were it all a simple celebration for equal treatment for LGBTIQA+ persons I would find no difficulty to support this but my reading is that the organisations of such events exert pressure on governments, legislative bodies and education ministries to accept openly or covertly the tenets of their ideology. In other words, a forced intrusion into our culture.

Our Maltese culture has absorbed much from Roman law and the Catholic religion. This has served us right and, up to now, along with the Maltese language, has given us our identity. 

But the question is: are we going to keep this culture or are we going to substitute it with another ideology? Justice and equality are promised but we then end up with a society where some are “more equal than others”.

Not all that glitters is gold.

Fr John Sammut – Mosta 

The €450 a month scam

Following The Sunday Times of Malta’s revelations about the €450 a month benefit scandal, everybody is talking about this scam and how it operated but nobody is talking about the person/s at the customer care office at the OPM and elsewhere who allegedly facilitated this scam.

If I understand correctly, the beneficiaries of this scam had to pay whoever facilitated receipt of the disability benefit a kickback equivalent to one year’s benefits, that is, €450 per month for 12 months, which amounts to €5,400. There are an estimated 800 beneficiaries, so the kickback amounts to around €4,320,000. 

A €4,320,000 scam is not petty larceny. It is not pilfering. It is highway robbery on a grand scale. Is anybody investigating the person/s who facilitated this rip-off?

John O’Dea – Naxxar

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