THE UPDATING OF PENSIONS FOR WORK ACCIDENT IS STILL UNFAIR
After April 25, pensions, for work accident or professional disease, were actualized for the first time, in 1975, with the promulgation of Decree-Law 668/75, from November 24, being indexed to the update of the national minimum wage. Since that year, the update of these pensions has been based on the percentage of increase of the national minimum wage. Even in 1997, during the discussion of the Draft-Law 67/VII, at the Republic Assembly, - that led to Law 100/97, from September 13 -, Teixeira dos Santos, Secretary of state of the Treasury and Finance at the time (current minister), said about the need of changing a legislation that was inappropriate to the realities of the new world of work which dated from 1965, in order to abandoned the concept of retribution-base and that the calculation of compensation and pensions could take into consideration the national minimum wage.As we know, the repair of work accidents are ensured by private insurers. And the branch of workplace accidents is not at all bad for insurance companies. On the contrary, the value of compensations paid is well below the revenue collected.
It is strange that, in 1999, the national Institute of Insurance had proposed that the pensions become to be updated in accordance with the update of pensions of the general system of social security – which as resulted in the publication of the Decree-Law 142/99, from April 30 and the Decree-Law 143/99, from the same date, which are based on the inflation rate planned by the government for the following year. As these predictions have invariably been wrong, in relation to the reality, its easy to see that, since 1999, the pensions loose purchasing power.
This year, the actualization of the pensions increased 2,4%, while the inflation was 2,5% and the national minimum wage increased 5,7%.
The subsidiary intervention of the Government which concerns to social protection, has been very far from the purpose of rehabilitation and reintegration into work of the workers whose injury or illness reduces their ability to work.
Once again, the strange interests of major economic groups, which comprise the insurance companies, have the protection of the government which, instead, should ensure the improvement of living conditions of those who had the misfortune of becoming disabled and whose ability to work and gain is seriously threatened and, in some cases, is even impossible.
The “Associação Nacional dos Deficientes Sinistrados no Trabalho” has to denounce this serious situation and require their review, in order to meet, in full, the protection of citizens in sickness, old age, disability, widowhood and orphans, as well as unemployment and all other cases of missing or decrease of livelihoods or capacity for work, as enshrined in Article 63º of the Constitution of Portuguese Republic.
Porto, 2008, January 21
National Directory Board of ANDST