Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras boasted about his government’s social welfare achievements – including averting pension cuts – and blasted New Democracy’s alleged lack of social sensitivity during parliamentary debate today on a bill that will decrease insurance contributions.

“The indisputable proof that our efforts came to fruition was the fact that despite what the opposition [New Democracy] hoped for publicly and in private, not only will there be no pension cuts as of 1 January, 2019, but indeed they will be increased for approximately 500,000 pensioners as of 1 January, exactly because of our insurance reform, which the opposition described as catastrophic,” Tsipras told parliament.

“This is about the dignity of pensioners and demonstrates the importance of having a government that is concerned about pensioners,” he declared.

“This is a reform [the bill reducing insurance contributions] which for the first time links the real economic position of non-salaried workers to their insurance contributions, the PM said.

“It abolishes the previous status quo of insurance classes, which arbitrarily increased contributions based on the number of years that one has been working in a profession, without taking into account the real economic capacity of the person insured. That resulted in 1.25mn or 88 percent of freelance professionals, self-employed individuals, and farmers paying smaller contributions than they were paying when the EFKA unified social insurance fund was established, Tsipras argued.Syr