Other parties react to nationalists’ retirement age proposals

The Flemish nationalist party N-VA’s manifesto contains proposals to raise the retirement age still further if life expectancy continues to increase. The nationalists are the only party currently proposing such changes and parties from both the left and the right of the political spectrum have expressed their disagreement with the nationalist leader Bart De Wever’s claim that increasing the retirement age if life expectancy increases is “the only way to keep the pensions system affordable”.     

   

The leader of the Flemish Christian democrats Wouter Beke disagrees "In the last government we took the decision to raise the retirement age to 67 by 2030. We are not going to go back on this, but we are also not going to raise it either”.

"There are two things that the next government must do: ensure that we devise a system for those working in demanding professions and ensure that it is introduced in an orderly way.  Secondly we must increase the lowest pensions. These are our two priorities for the next government”.    

Flemish liberals: "Not on the agenda"

The Flemish liberals have little if any enthusiasm for Mr De Wever’s proposals. They want to keep the retirement age at 67.     

"The priority today is to ensure that people that want to work for longer are able to do so”, the party’s leader Gwendolyn Rutten told VRT News.  

"By doing this we ensure that age at which people effectively retire comes closer to the legal retirement age. This is important and anything else is not on the agenda”.   

Greens: "The level of pensions needs to increase, not the retirement age"

The Flemish green party figurehead Kristof Calvo said in a reaction that “With the greens pensions will rise and not the retirement age”.  

Vlaams Belang: "Unacceptable"

Like the Flemish socialists, the far-right Vlaams Belang wants the retirement age to be reduced to 65 again.   “Make savings on asylum, (financial) transfers to Wallonia and on the political system”.     

The far-left PVDA is also vehemently opposed to Mr De Wever’s proposals. The party’s leaders Peter Mertens expressed his disagreement with meme posted on the social media site Twitter.