Rødt’s Mímir Kristjánsson said that many pensioners and people with social security are struggling to pay their bills this winter, and the social security settlement should be accelerated this year. — or they could get a Social Security advance, he says.
Rødt profiles a proposal in Storting that excites the pensioners’ association.
The proposal contains the following main content:
- Storting urges the government to consider speeding up the social security settlement so that people can increase their incomes more quickly. If necessary, advance payments can be made to benefit recipients until the Social Security settlement is completed.
– Retirement and disability benefits come every month, but they are adjusted only once a year in the Social Security settlement at the end of May. Kristjánsson says that social security and pensions are currently becoming less and less valuable when there is price inflation.
– This applies to everyone – including wage earners, but are you saying that these are vulnerable groups that need help during difficult months?
– Yes, many pensioners and disabled people are living on minimum subsistence today because the costs of food, electricity and loans have risen sharply. They will be compensated in the Social Security settlement in May, but unfortunately that will not happen, he adds:
– I like to put it almost like this: they are used by the state as an ATM, where they are reimbursed/returned in May.
He believes insureds will receive less money from “state ATMs” than expected because rates have risen so much.
– The problem is that in the settlement plan in May 2022, a very low price growth estimate was used, so these groups have already lost a lot. From experience, it is hard to imagine that they will get all this money back in the settlement in May.
Read the proposition in the fact box below:
In connection with the implementation of the state budget for 2023, it was decided to give NOK 1,000 to social assistance recipients, NOK 3,000 to disabled persons and an additional NOK 4,000 was promised in 2023 to single minimum pensioners.
– It will cost
– In other words, are weaker groups favored?
– Yes, some. Only the disabled get 3,000 at the lowest rate and if you are married getting the minimum pension, you get nothing more than that. We hope to be able to provide additional grants to all pensioners and those on social security benefits. The challenge is that while the government is moving at the speed of a mouse, prices are moving fast in the wrong direction.
– This is not very realistic, because it costs money. What is the total cost of this proposal?
– Now I don’t have a complete overview of it, but it costs. But we believe that Norway can bear to balance the differences in this country. This is the money we decided pensioners and people on Social Security benefits should receive with Social Security benefits adjusted for wage and price increases. But when you really need them, get them now.
Urgent treatment is required
The situation is so extraordinary, he says, that it is time for action.
– In the situation we are in, we cannot sit back and wait to do things as usual.
The proposal will be sent to the Storting’s labor and social affairs committee, where he sits.
– We will demand that it be treated urgently, says Kristjansson.
John Davidson, chairman of the pensioners’ association, has a background in LO and Labour, but today he praises Rødt.
– It would be great if initiatives were taken to help start discussions on these challenges. I thank you for the initiative. The Social Security fix has been delayed and many are struggling there now. Davidson says this worries, among other things, residents who have had low incomes and low pensions throughout their lives.
He says that all the gold front pages are reverse and refer to the 3,000 kroner that minimum pensioners receive.
– We fear that 30,000 of today’s approximately 80,000 single minimum pensioners will see their housing benefit or occupational pension cut when the minimum pension increases. As a result, the government continues to give with one hand and take with the other, says Davidson.
No, that’s fine from the minister
Labor and Inclusion Minister Marte Mjøs Persen (Ap) said the government does not plan to do anything in the provision of the social security solution.
– But if we see that we will get a completely different economic development than what was set as the basis for the state budget for this year, it can be taken into account in the revised national budget. In addition, Rødt will receive a response to his representative proposal in the Storting as usual.
He says the energy crisis and war in Ukraine have led to higher prices for food, electricity and fuel.
– Some groups have been hit hard by troubled times. So the government’s mission, says Persen, is to help bring inflation under control, create security around people’s finances and jobs, and even out social and geographic disparities.
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