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Jun 25, 2003

G.O.B. will compromise…

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Your heard it first on this newscast last night and today the Prime Minister has confirmed that government is prepared to scale back at least some of its proposed changes in the Social Security system. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods spoke to P.M. Musa this morning.

Prime Minister Said Musa

“We’ve always been prepared to negotiate and to discuss and dialogue. It is the other side if I might put it that way that has adopted a two-track policy of asking for meetings, agreeing to certain things to dialogue and then going outside and holding their demonstrations, which of course they have a right to do.”

“We are prepared to look again on whether or not we should leave the mandatory retirement age at sixty-five. You know the government has not taken an inflexible position that this has to change and that has to change. So if they can show us why it shouldn’t at this time be increased, we will be happy to take that on board. So on that point, yes, that was specifically discussed.

“On the insurable ceiling, the increase, again the union, one of them in particular, came with an alternative proposal as how to reach the six-forty in a more or less burdensome as he put it, way to the worker. It would mean of course an adjustment increase to the employer, so all these things we have to look at very closely and of course we are meeting with the employers as well. But I felt on a whole it was a constructive meeting. There have been previous meetings where it was just a shouting match, but whereas Monday I felt it came as a request of the Public Service Union, I agree to meet with them and when we got to the meeting, they came along with just about everybody else. And of course I said, fine you’ll are here we will meet and talk. It was a good meeting and we will be meeting again on Friday.”

“There are some people who feel that to move from three hundred and twenty to six hundred and forty, perhaps we should look at maybe we should do this in stages, alternatively they need to weigh it up against the benefits and where ever, whether people will be happy with not getting the full amount pension that they would want to get. In other words, it’s one thing to say to a person pay less but when you retire, you’ll only get forty percent of your salary as pension, or do you want to save your money now because that is what it is all about, pooling your savings and get eighty, ninety percent of your salary as pension. It’s all a question of balancing out these things, but we have to do something that is affordable and that is acceptable by and large to the community… The present arrangement or proposal is that the S.I. governing the one percent or the half percent should go ahead at the end of this month.”

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