Union wants improved social benefits
|Unite the union has issued a press release where it refers to the lack of proper Social Benefits in Gibraltar. The unemployed, the disabled, those who become incapacitated through an accident, receive pittance from the Social Insurance Funds.
In the last budget neither of the two main political parties even mentioned this problem that affects many people.
"We have proposed a review of all the social benefits, some of which havent increased in years. Unite the Union is the only organisation that looks after the interests of working people; the rest looks after the interests of businesses," they say.
And propose the following:
Those workers who either become unemployed or through an accident become disabled, are for this union the forgotten workers, who suffer financial hardship. This Union will not forget them and will be proposing raising these social benefits.
The level of Unemployment Benefit and its duration needs to be urgently reviewed. Present benefits are below subsistence level and condemn the recipient to financial hardship for him/her and their family.
The current rates are as follows:-
Single person £57.00
Single under 18 £28.00
Per Child £13.00
Although our expectation should be higher, it is our policy to campaign for achievable objectives taking into consideration the legal minimum wage as a benchmark - £195.00 for a 39 hour week. How can a family live on this pittance?
Unite propose the following unemployment benefits:
Single person 60% of minimum wage = £117.00
Single under 18 30% of minimum wage = £ 58.50
Spouse 15% of minimum wage = £ 29.25
Per child 10 % of minimum wage = £ 19.50
The duration of this benefit should be increased to 52 weeks on a pro-rata basis dependent on contributions.
The standard rate of injury benefit should be increased as well as the maximum period.
We also propose that legislation be introduced so that all employers make up the difference between the employee basic pay and the rate of injury benefit. So that any employee will receive their full wages during the injury period.
We propose that the standard rates be increased as follows:
TGWU/ACTS PROPOSAL CURRENTLY
Claimant 60% of minimum wage
Adult dependent 15% of minimum wage
First Child 12% of minimum wage
Second Child 10% of minimum wage
Injury benefit should be paid for a maximum period of 52 weeks.
When the injury benefit ends, an employee will receive a regular weekly payment or lump sum for any disablement. i.e. £510.00 for 1% - £8,560.00 for 34% lump sum.
If disablement is 35% or over you may receive a weekly pension of £87.64. The lump sum varies from £8,890.00 for 35% to £24,770.00 for 100%.
Disablement benefit and pension should be calculated taking into consideration the current minimum wage.
The widow or widower and children of the deceased person may claim death benefit. A widow or widower has an option or a weekly pension of £53.80 or a lump sum of £24,770.00. If there are children, the beneficiary will receive an additional £10.15 per week for the 1st child and £6.51 for the second.
A death grant is a one off payment of £400.00.
This allowance is a weekly benefit of £87.64 for 18 weeks
Maternity allowance should be increase to realistic figure and paid for 26 weeks.
All other benefits should be upgrade accordingly, taking into accord the minimum wage factor.
OLD AGE PENSION
The Social Insurance old age pension for over 65 years was increased recently by 5%, which this union welcomes.
SINGLE £ 356.93 £ 374.78 5%
MARRIED £ 515.34 £ 562.21 -5%
The TGWU/ACTS considers that for those pensioners who do not receive an Occupation Pension, the level of pension is low, even taking into account the Household Allowance payable. They consider that this pension should annually increase by 2% over and above the inflation rate.