National council for pensioners to discuss poverty and low pensions

NEWS 01.10.2020 14:23
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Source: Ilustracija

Increasing pensions and changing the pension indexation model in relation to the average wage are some of the key topics to be discussed by the National Council for Pensioners and Elderly Persons, which held its first session on Thursday, on the International Day of Older Persons.

Associations of pensioners and the trade union of pensioners SUH welcome the establishment of the national council as an advisory body to the government, said SUH head Jasna Petrovic ahead of the Council’s session, held in the building of the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family Affairs and Social Policy.

She said that they hoped the council would soon start working on serious issues since 61% of pensioners had pensions below the Croatian poverty threshold.

The council has recently been established through an agreement between the government and pensioners’ associations as an advisory body in the area of pension and health insurance, social policy and the protection of the elderly.

Increasing pensions allowances, changing the model of indexing them to the average wage and changing the model of family pensions are some of the priorities for the sessions of the national council, said Petrovic.

“Our interest is to establish a kind of social dialogue with pensioners with the aim of improving the pension system, the social welfare system and all systems that deal with the elderly,” Minister Josip Aladrovic said.

Although the council is an advisory body, Aladrovic said they wanted its work to result in concrete measures and visible effects.

Sixty-six residents of care homes die from COVID-19

One of the topics will be preventing the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic among elderly persons, and mid-October a campaign will be launched to raise awareness about the spread of the disease among the elderly population.

For this purpose, a committee for preventing and curbing the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic among elderly persons was established on August 24, led by epidemiologist Branko Kolaric.

To date, 66 residents of care homes have died, which 25% of the total number of coronavirus-related deaths.

Kolaric said Croatia had done a very good job compared to other countries where the percentage is between 50 and 70 percent.

He said their goal was for elderly citizens to receive the best possible care during the epidemic.