Luxembourg finance minister Pierre Gramegna, pictured, gave the keynote speech at the multi-chamber Christmas lunch on 11 December
Photo: Sven Becker/archive
Luxembourg’s state pensions are “safe for the next 30 to 40 years,” finance minister Pierre Gramegna assured his audience at an event on Monday.
Answering questions after his keynote speech at a multi-chamber Christmas lunch at Sofitel in Kirchberg, Gramegna said that he could either make an alarmist speech or one in which everything is fine. “Probably the truth is in between…I would say pensions are safe the next 30 to 40 years. And which country can say the pension system is safe the next 30 years? Very few.”
The minister said he would not go into details but added that Luxembourgers were “very cautious people and that’s very good news for all the foreigners coming here.”
He further added that if the country can create more jobs than it destroys, the pension system will remain sustainable. But, even he could not ignore the impending digitisation of jobs, which has been the hot topic of various panels and discussions in recent months. He urged guests to relativise the discussion, pointing to other countries whose pensions whose systems were even more precarious, while acknowledging “it’s a real issue which needs to be solved long-term. We’ve a group analysing this. There’s no need to panic.”
His final statement was met with applause, a refreshing contrast to the flak he received in recent weeks from institutional bodies over the budget. Responding to the latest budget, the Court of Auditors warned that procrastination over the pensions system would jeopardise the pensions of future generations, forecasting that the general pension system would be in deficit by 2023, and reserves depleted by 2043.
In his speech, Gramegna touched on the various business-friendly initiatives in Luxembourg and listed new measures for 2018, including the tax regime for individuals so that people can be assessed on an individual basis, regardless of whether or not they are married or in a civil partnership.
He further said that on Thursday parliament will vote on legislation allowing for tax credits on company software acquisition and for tax credits for companies which buy low or zero-emission vehicles.