SPD general secretary Kühnert speaks of a "derailment", the social association VdK of "impudence": The idea of some economists to fight inflation by raising the retirement age is met with rejection. Unionists are concerned about the health of many workers.
The proposal by some economists to raise the retirement age in the fight against inflation has caused headwind in politics and associations. "The SPD will not allow pensioners to be declared drivers of inflation and economic risk factors," General Secretary Kevin Kühnert told the "Tagesspiegel". The proposal was a "feeling derailment".
Economists like Gunther Schnabl, Stefan Kooths and Bernd Raffelhüschen had argued in "Bild" that demographic change would lead to more inflation. Accordingly, there are fewer and fewer workers, which is why wages and prices have risen. Therefore, people should work longer to alleviate the shortage of skilled workers.
The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) also contradicted this logic. "This is nothing more than a despondent reduction in benefits at the expense of the employees. But you don't fight inflation with it," said DGB board member Anja Piel of the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung". "Around every seventh person retires earlier - because of illness, a lack of age-appropriate jobs or working conditions that make people ill," she emphasized. According to the trade unionist, many people become unemployed even before they reach retirement age because employers are still willing to get rid of their older employees despite the shortage of skilled workers.
Verena Bentele, president of the social association VdK, told the "Bild" newspaper that the proposal was "outrageous": What seems easy for professors and economists is not affordable for people in physically and mentally demanding jobs. "Instead of letting them foot the bill for the crisis, it would be better for the wealthy to be taxed more heavily." The chairman of the Seniors' Union, Otto Wulff, also rejected the demand for a retirement age of 70: "By the time pensions are introduced at 70, the inflation rate can have returned to normal long ago," he told the newspaper.