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Drop plans to upgrade your pensions, petition urges MPs

Give everyone a living pension before improving yours, PD-led petition says

Godfrey Farrugia.

Godfrey Farrugia.

Updated 5.15pm

Citizens angered by parliamentarians' attempt to give themselves a pensions upgrade can now sign a petition opposing the move. 

https://parlament.mt/en/petition/?id=17&page=1&numItems=20" target="_self">The parliamentary petition, activated by Partit Demokratiku MP Godfrey Farrugia, calls on MPs not to pass any reform of their own pensions "before all pensioners are in receipt of a decent living pension". 

The petition also calls on MPs to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinion about the matter before lawmakers pass the reform. 

The petition can be signed on parliament's website.The petition can be signed on parliament's website.

Anyone signing the petition will receive an email asking them to verify their vote.

Unlike ordinary citizens, MPs are entitled to uncapped pensions, receiving a full two-thirds of their salary upon the age of 65. Furthermore, MPs who serve as ministers or parliamentary secretaries also receive a pension over-and-above their social security pension.  

As things stand, MPs must have served for two terms to be eligible for a parliamentary pension. The reforms currently before parliament would reduce that limit to just one term, with MPs getting a pro-rata full pension if they serve a partial first term. 

Labour and Nationalist Party MPs quietly approved the second reading of the measure last week, leading PD's Marlene Farrugia to fume that the two major parties had purposely waited for herself and Godfrey Farrugia - the PD's two MPs - to be out of parliament before voting on the measure. 

Former PL MP Lino Debono subsequently said that he was "surprised" to hear that Godfrey Farrugia opposed the pensions reform plans, since he had been "fully in favour" of the idea when he was with the PL. 

Dr Farrugia shrugged off that claim, saying the bill was never debated in parliament and that he had been doing his job as whip according to instructions given to him.  

Dr Farrugia served as PL whip last legislature before quitting the party in disgust shortly before the general election. 

The proposed reform of MPs' pensions must now pass its third reading in parliament before passing into law.

Earlier on Monday, Dr Farrugia had said that PL "spin" could not change the fact that it is trying to raise parliamentarians' pensions while more vulnerable members of society struggle to make ends meet.

"Remember the outrage that the Labour Party stoked when the PN gave cabinet members an extra €500 a week while everyone else was struggling to make ends meet," Dr Farrugia said. 

"This is not the Labour which the people elected in 2013... this is a government which thinks of itself and its inner circle. Naturally, Delia's PN agreed with giving itself a raise, since there's nothing to distinguish the two of them," he added. 

To sign the petition, visit https://parlament.mt/en/petition/?id=17&page=1&numItems=20

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