Now that the election season is in full swing and the parties are busy campaigning for our votes, I would like to highlight one area where I am not seeing or hearing much discussion on the plight of pensioners in this country. All you are hearing from the politicians is what they will be doing for education, infrastructure, health, IT, crime, public servants, police, army etc., but hardly anything for pensioners – and I am talking about both NIS and government old age pensioners.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying money should not be spent in these areas, but I am not hearing what plans they have for the pensioners, who are one of the most neglected groups of people in this country.
Recently, NIS gave a 2% increase to pensioners who are at the minimum of the scale, which brings them now to $35,000 per month, while those who are above that received no increase.
So, if a pensioner is getting $36,000 per month, he gets no increase. That’s not fair, something is not right. People who are above the minimum, earn that by virtue of them having a higher number of contributions and higher salary at the time of retirement. And in any case, how can a pensioner survive on a $35,000 or even $40,000 pension per month, and taking into consideration those who are not getting the government old age pension as yet, how will they survive?
The same goes for the government old age pensioners who are getting $20,500 per month and are not receiving a pension from the NIS. These are the types of discussions that I was hoping to hear from our politicians, and their plans to alleviate the suffering of our pensioners. But alas, I guess the pensioners are not a priority for the politicians of this country, who are only interested in their votes and not their well being.
This is a wakeup call to all the politicians of this country. Let us hear what plans you have to increase the NIS and government old age pension, using a portion of the coming oil wealth, so that our pensioners can also enjoy the good life. After all, the politicians are already enjoying the good life.
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