Vroutsis: The picture of the social insurance system must change

The government will await the decision of the Council of State (CoS) before proceeding to changes in the social insurance system, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Yiannis Vroutsis speaking in parliament on Thursday.

Responding to questions, Vroutsis said, “The government’s position on social insurance is crystal clear: We will wait for the CoS’ decisions and use these as a base for our own policy.”

The minister called outstanding issues in calculations and payments of social insurance “many and serious” and said “the picture of the insurance known as the Katrougalos law must change.” The issues he particularly pointed out include insurance contributions which are too high and insurance issues that should be under the jurisdiction of the tax service. All of these will be addressed following the Council of State decisions, he said, noting that “this cycle of an insurance system constantly in a state of limbo must end.”

In related comments, Vroutsis reiterated that 470,000 pension applications were pending. In addition, he revealed that the pension services were augmented by 86 staff members and transfers of staff to other services had been frozen for another year, to help the social insurance system (EFKA) manage the backlog of work.