Pensioners need a bump in their incomes, according to the chair of the Centre Party's parliamentary group Antti Kaikkonen. He says that upcoming budget talks, scheduled for 8-9 August, should herald an increase of between 40 and 50 euros in the basic state pension.
"The government has raised basic pensions, but the level isn't high enough yet," said Uusimaa MP Kaikkonen in a statement. "Too many Grandmas and Granddads are forced to consider whether their money will cover both food and medication. Pensioner poverty is one of the most alarming problems in our society. A boost in basic pensions is one of the solutions with which pensioner poverty can be tackled."
The government has both raised and cut basic pensions since it took office in 2015. Last year it rose by 23 euros per month, while it will rise by eight euros from the start of next year.
The government also cut the benefit by 0.85 percent, causing a drop of just under ten euros a month from the start of this year. That cut was part of a sweeping, across the board reduction of benefits implemented as an austerity measure.
The government's budget talks, which start on 8 August, are intended to set the state budget for the following year, with party leaders and ministers gathering for two days of intense negotiations on how to allocate resources and generate revenue for the upcoming financial year.