Pensions ‘should not be subject to income tax’
The National Council for the Elderly has made a number of proposals for the upcoming budget, including that no income tax should be paid on pensions.
One situation that needs to be addressed is that of married women whose husband refuses to share their retirement pension, the Council explains. This goes against the legal provisions of family law and the Community of Acquests. The Council proposes that, when a specific request is made by one member of the couple, the cheque should be divided in two and two cheques of equal value then issued, one to the man and the other to the woman.”
The Council has also referred to the survivor’s pension. It said that every widow or widower who receives a pension in respect of their deceased spouse should continue to receive it, even after they retire, irrespective of whether or not they are eligible for a pension.
Pension contributions in the form of a credit are paid for child-rearing, the Council said, adding that a similar system should be apply for a specific period to those who are not working in order to care for their parents, children or partners who are dependent on them.
The Council also proposes that no income tax should be paid on pension income, irrespective of whether the person is single or married.
Apart from pensions, the Council also spoke about active ageing. It proposes that active ageing be promoted in the public administration by giving those who reach retirement age the opportunity of continuing – or returning – to work in the public sector by offering them part-time positions on a definite contract.
It also proposes that the ETC create job opportunities for elderly people who would like to continue working.
The Council wants Day Centres to develop activities with the full participation of the elderly themselves and where homes for the elderly are concerned, it wants the existing ones to be refurbished, and more of them opened so that residents can live in homes close to the areas in which they have always lived. Another major problem highlighted by the Council was that people living in homes for the elderly often do not have sufficient interesting and/or enjoyable activities throughout the day.
It also proposes a number of other points, including increasing the number of bus shelters around the island, keeping pavements in good repair and the provision – free of charge – of medication for health problems to which the elderly are particularly vulnerable.