At a special session held last Tuesday, Parliament gave its unanimous approval to a bill granting each pensioner financial assistance worth KD3,000, in both its first and second readings. A total of 38 lawmakers attending the session voted for the bill.As per the new legislation, in addition to the one-time grant, pensions are to be raised by KD20 every year as of 1 August, 2023. However, there will be an exceptional rise of KD30 on 1 August, 2022.
Defending the legislation at parliament, Minister of Finance and Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Investment Abdulwahab Al-Rasheed said that it reflected
the government’s extreme care for pensioners and their living conditions.He added that the bill would also help in saving Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) investments for offsetting the actuarial deficit, creating job opportunities and the national economy.
For his part, Minister of State for National Assembly Affairs Mohammad Al-Rajhi said the government’s attendance at today’s parliament session on a bill pertinent to pensioners’ financial grant is mainly based on the urgency of the matter. The government is currently in a care-taker capacity until a new Cabinet is formed. Speaking at the onset of the sitting, Minister Al-Rajhi, who doubles as Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said the draft law is deemed an urgent matter due to the fact that pensioners’ social assistance is enshrined in the constitution, and that the political leadership wants this matter to be settled as soon as possible.
He underlined that putting this bill on the back burner would negatively affect the retirees who need much care in order to be able to face the aftershocks of the current global economic conditions, given that they make up around 17 percent of the Kuwaiti population.The minister hoped that both legislative and executive bodies would work together so as to pass this bill at an early date.