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Authorities' pension plan deemed dubious by opposition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, March 18
Our Georgia- Free Democrats are blaming the authorities in the manipulation of the pension package; a statement regarding the issue was made by the party representative, Viktor Dolidze, on March 17.

“The authorities' promise concerning the GEL 100 pension from September is nothing but a mechanic sum of electricity and food vouchers, assistance beyond the poverty level, health insurance and privileges of communal and transport fees. Such a mechanism is not used in any country, as everyone, but the current Georgian authorities can understand that pensions, assistance, privileges and aid are not added arithmetically, they are just types of social service", Dolidze stated and appealed to the authorities to publish its conception, otherwise Our Georgia- Free Democrats would suggest an alternative version to Georgian society, “ herewith, the authorities should answer the questions of why pensions in a successful and reformatory country like Georgia is low compared to all other CIS countries. The situation regarding Georgia is harder than in the majority of those countries where the prices on every day products, gas, transport and electricity are lower.”

The party have also questioned why the authorities do not change the law on minimum salary, “ even students know in Georgia that almost all countries of the world currently use the law whereby people receive a minimum hourly salary, not monthly.”

The authorities connect the opposition’s negative statements regarding the pension reform to their permanent wish to criticize the authorities. "The pension is increasing and it has great importance for our people, any honest opposition member cannot refuse this.” MP, Akaki Bobokhidze, said.

Economic analyst, Gia Khukhashvili told The Messenger, “The authorities' statements regarding pension and reform in this field seem very obscure and dubious to me. Firstly, these kinds of decisions, meaning the increasing of pensions, are not usually made at this time of year; secondly, our authorities generally make such decisions in the pre-election period. So in September, GEL 100 might be worth less than it is now due to inflation. At the same time, our Government has been very active lately in social matters and perhaps they are frightened of social tension in the country, but it is unclear what they might gain from the statement when it refers to September and not next month.”

As the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili stated on Pension reform, on March 8, “I always remember our election promise of a USD 100 pension package, which takes into account the basic pension, additions according to length of service and merit and health insurance. I can say that the insurance is successful and those with insurance are able to get many kinds of treatment at hospitals. In order to progress to the USD 100 pension package next year we need to carry out serious pension reforms,” the President said and explained the essence of the reform, “The pension reform means that as the result of tax collection, allocation of the budget and relations between the tax payer and the authorities, pensioners will be in a profitable position.”