Some people tried to make tempers flare or wanted to find out what kind of reaction the announcement of government action in such delicate matters as welfare and social security benefits might trigger. As far as the bill on poverty is concerned, in fact, the Government has expressed its intention to carry out a rationalization of such benefits by introducing elements of selectivity connected to the certified economic situation. The most controversial issue concerns the survivors’ pensions that are not expressly written in the text of the bill, but are mentioned in the report that accompanies it. Since prevention is always better than cure, it did not take a long time to the syndicate to take a position on this matter. A single letter signed by the CGIL, CISL, and UIL syndicates sent a clear message to the Executive: we will not accept further cuts at the expense of the pensioners, especially of those pensioners who are already living on largely curtailed survivor’s benefits, which are not a gift from the State, but the result of years of work and paid taxes.
There is nothing ideological or partisan in this position. It only emphasizes the repeatedly expressed urgency, to reorganize the social security system in a more equal and just way. The letter signed by the above mentioned three unions, thus, renews the appeal to the Government to discuss together and find appropriate and responsible solutions to put an end to the many distortions of the Fornero Law through outgoing flexibility measures and by finding a permanent solution to the old problem of the early retirees, the issues of early and strenuous work and for women, for whom the extension of the “woman option” is positive, whereas the same cannot be said about the extension of the reduction of the checks by 20-30%. Survivors’ pensions have a strong gender character since most of them concern women. Cutting them would mean further discrimination in a vicious circle that makes women succumb more and more.
I think about the many retired widows who live only on survivor’s benefits, grandmothers, mothers and aunts for whom this check is the only source of income and proper recognition for a life full of sacrifices spent mostly at home, dedicated to the care of the family, an institution that despite the challenges of these years of crisis has proved to be solid and the warrant of social country estate. The priority issues on which the Government’s action should focus more Government are different. How to continue, for example, on the front of employment recovery fed primarily by lower taxes for businesses; how to revive women employment which is stuck at around 47% and which costs us, in terms of GDP growth, according to experts, 7 percentage points less; how to protect women’s work which is becoming more and more discontinuous and intermittent, the main cause of the gap between their pensions and those of their male colleagues. A very important match is going on also in the field of tax if, we want to revive consumption and the purchase power of the wages, contributing thus to the resumption of growth.
The CISL syndicate has presented specific proposals in this regard, which have been inserted in our bills filed at the Chamber of Deputies in 2015 to give workers, female workers, pensioners and families more resources, setting up a new family allowance which puts together the present and deductions for children and/or the spouse, introducing a tax on ordinary large net wealth, linking local taxation to the quality of the offered services and reducing tax evasion that amounts to about 180 billion euros every year.